Frequently asked questions
Children under 5 are being offered free vaccine because of all the vaccine-preventable diseases, influenza causes the most hospital admissions of children under 5 years of age.
Children 5 years of age and over are not eligible for free influenza vaccine but still benefit from vaccination, and it can be obtained under private prescription from your doctor
Febrile seizures (or convulsions) can be triggered by fever from any cause. A small number of children (2-4%) are susceptible to febrile seizures up until about six years of age. The seizures themselves usually last around one or two minutes and loss of consciousness is possible. Nearly all children who have a febrile seizure, regardless of the cause, will recover quickly without any ongoing effects or permanent neurological (brain) damage.
Influenza itself can cause fever which may result in febrile seizures. Febrile seizures related to fever after influenza vaccination are uncommon and occur in less than one in every 1,000 children who receive the vaccine.
Enhanced safety monitoring systems for influenza vaccines introduced in recent years, such as AusVaxSafety, have confirmed that influenza vaccine is safe in children under five years of age, with low rates of fever and medical attendance reported after vaccination.
Although influenza vaccines are grown in eggs, due to new vaccine manufacturing methods, the amount of material from the egg in the influenza vaccine is small (usually less than one microgram of egg protein per dose).
Recent studies have shown that people with egg allergy, including egg-induced anaphylaxis, have safely received the influenza vaccine.
Even though the risk of anaphylaxis or an adverse event is very low, if your child has this type of allergy you should seek advice about influenza vaccine from your healthcare provider, you may be advised to have your child vaccinated in a setting where immediate treatment for a possible reaction is available.
Yes. Childhood vaccines which are scheduled for children in the same months as the flu season, can safely be given to children at the same time. Speak to your doctor or vaccine provider about the best timing.
It takes 10-14 days to develop an immune response to the flu vaccine which means you are still able to catch the flu during that time, so have your flu vaccine before flu is widespread in your community.
There are also other viruses that circulate during winter months that can also cause similar flu like symptoms such as the common cold virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) especially in the young and the elderly. Differences between cold and flu.
Everyone should have a flu vaccine every year because flu viruses constantly change. Flu viruses are quick-change artists. They reproduce rapidly, constantly mutate and exchange genes with each other. For these reasons there is a new flu vaccine every year.