What is Influenza?

Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications (including pneumonia). It affects people of all ages. The flu is usually spread by breathing in droplets from coughs and sneezes that contain the virus.

The flu is a seasonal infection that usually occurs from April to September. Flu seasons vary in severity and duration from year to year. In a year of high influenza activity, it is estimated that the flu can contribute to more than 3,300 deaths in Australia.

Protecting your community

How can I avoid getting the flu?

Getting a flu vaccine every year is recommended for everyone aged 6 months or older. People in the above groups are eligible for free flu vaccination each year under the National Immunisation Program.

While not 100% effective, the flu vaccine provides a high level of protection and can reduce symptoms in those still getting sick.

COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (that is, given on the same day, one after the other) with a flu vaccine. Speak to your immunisation provider for advice about COVID-19 and flu vaccines for children aged 6 months to less than 5 years.

Wearing a face mask and practicing good hand hygiene can help to reduce your chances of catching the flu or passing it on to others.


Where to book?

You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccination from your pharmacist or doctor (GP). Pharmacists can administer the flu and COVID-19 vaccines to anyone aged 5 years and over.

Many immunisations in Victoria may also be provided by: local councils, GPs and specially qualified nurses in medical clinics and community health services, some maternal and child health nurses, travel medicine clinics, community pharmacists and hospitals. Learn more here.





The Victorian Department of Health have launched the 'Stay Well this Winter' campaign that you can share with your communities. 

For 2024, a priority audience for the campaign is parents of young kids aged 6 months to 5 years. 


Download the resources below or at the Better Health Channel.




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Find out more

Visit the Better Health Channel to learn more

Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.