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Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by different strains of the influenza virus. Because the virus rapidly mutates, it is important to receive a new vaccination every year to protect against the most prevalent strains.

The flu vaccine is designed to provide immunity against the influenza virus. It works by introducing dead or weakened forms of the virus into the body, which triggers the production of antibodies that can effectively fight off live strains of the virus.

Flu vaccines are typically recommended for individuals who are at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu, such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems. However, anyone can benefit from getting a flu vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus.Flu vaccines are generally safe and well-tolerated, with few side effects beyond mild soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

While flu vaccines cannot eliminate the risk of contracting the flu, they have been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing severe symptoms or complications. Getting vaccinated each year is an important way to protect yourself and those around you from this potentially dangerous illness.


Who should get a flu shot?

Annual vaccination against the flu is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age.


Who is eligible for a free flu shot?

The Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program provides a free flu vaccine to eligible people, including:

· People aged 65 and olderPregnant women

· All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months or over

· People aged 6 months and older with medical conditions that put them at risk of complications from the flu

· Children 6mo to less than 5 years old.