The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for people at high risk of severe disease. It is also strongly recommended for anyone who has close contact with people at high risk, to stop spread of the infection to those at high risk.
- 65 years and over - people aged 65 years and over have the highest risk of complications associated with seasonal flu.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over are eligible for free flu vaccine as influenza and secondary infections from influenza are major causes of preventable sickness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Pregnant women - The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for pregnant women and can be safely given during any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe complications caused by infection with the flu virus. Protecting the mother from flu also reduces the risk of passing the virus on to young babies.
Medically at risk - People with some existing medical conditions are at increased risk of complications from flu. These include:
anyone who is 6 months of age or over and has:
- heart disease;
- severe asthma or a chronic lung condition;
- chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the past year, for example diabetes or kidney disease;
- diseases of the nervous system; or
- impaired immunity.
- children aged 6 months to 10 years who are on long-term aspirin therapy.
- anyone who is 6 months of age or over and has:
Influenza vaccine is also strongly recommended (but not free) for the following people:
- residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities who do not meet the criteria above
- health care workers
- anyone who works in a nursing home or long term care facility
- anyone who lives in a household with a person who is in a high risk category
- homeless people and those providing care to them
- people providing essential services eg. police, ambulance