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We have had many enquiries about when people should have their influenza vaccine. Last year there were some deficiencies in the Australian influenza vaccination program and so there are some changes this year to fix these problems.

The following points below explain the situation but it can best be summarised as:

We should all have the flu vaccine, it should be given in May and recent changes to the vaccines mean that your local General Practice is the best place to have it done.

When should I have the flu needle?

  • The peak time for influenza infection in Australia is about August
  • We now know that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine starts to diminish after about 3-4 months
  • We recommend people be vaccinated from late April through to the end of May
  • If you miss out at these times, it is still very worthwhile to be vaccinated at any time over winter.

Do I need the flu needle?


  • Influenza is a potentially serious and unpleasant illness in everyone
  • We recommend influenza vaccines for everyone over the age of 6 months
  • Certain groups are eligible for free Government supplied flu vaccines administered by their local doctor
  • These groups are particularly at risk of complications with the flu and include:
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons aged from 6 months to <5 years or 15 years and over
  • Pregnant women no matter what stage of pregnancy
  • People 6 months and over with certain medical conditions putting them at risk of complications. These include:
    • Heart disease
    • Chronic lung disease including asthma
    • Neurological disease
    • A compromised immune system
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease
    • Chronic blood diseases

Who should give me the flu needle?

  • This year there are 7 different brands of influenza vaccine on the market and not all are suitable at particular ages
  • Two of these brands are specifically for people over the age of 65 and are only provided through the National Immunisation Program (not privately through pharmacies)
  • Only one brand is suitable for children from the age of 6 months to under 3 years of age.
  • In addition there is one brand not suitable for use in children from 3 years to under 18 years
  • The brand available to those over 65 years of age only provided through General Practices and State immunisation clinics
  • Given this complexity we believe your GP practice is best placed to provide the most suitable brand of vaccine for your age and health circumstance.

At Busselton Medical Practice we have expertise in immunisation of all types. In late April and through May we encourage you to contact us to arrange an influenza vaccine for yourself and your family. Just let our receptionists know you would like a flu needle and they will arrange a convenient time to have it done quickly, easily and safely.

To book an appointment go to our web page, or download the appointuit app onto your smart phone, or call one of our friendly receptionists on 9752 1133.