Health Check

Why you should get the 2023 flu vaccine

Awaken that lean, mean flu-fighting machine within you.

Written by Editor Medibank

New year. New flu strains.

Influenza vaccines are given each year to protect against the most common strains of the virus.

In 2022, there was a resurgence of influenza virus in Australia due to the reopening of international borders. This year, the seasonal influenza activity is expected to continue.

When should I get my influenza vaccine?

The influenza season is usually between June to September in most parts of Australia. However, it’s never too late to be vaccinated as influenza can spread all year round. Even if you had last season’s flu vaccine late last year or early this year, you should still get the new season vaccine this year when it becomes available.+

Influenza vaccines can be given on the same day as a COVID-19 vaccine and most other vaccines. Speak to your qualified health professional or immunization provider if you’re unsure.

Am I eligible for a free flu vaccine?

Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), some people from special risk groups are eligible to receive a free flu vaccination from their GP.~ This includes:

  • if you have a medical condition that means you have a higher risk of getting serious disease
  • if you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres-Strait Islander
  • if you are pregnant (at any stage of the pregnancy)
  • people aged 65+
  • children aged 6 months to 5 years.

People from these special risk groups should speak with their GP before booking a flu vaccination. Consultation fees may apply.

Can you catch the flu from the vaccine?

This is one of the biggest myths about the vaccine. While some effects may seem like influenza, none of the influenza vaccines available in Australia contain live influenza viruses, so they cannot cause influenza.

Common side effects from the influenza vaccine include mild pain, redness or swelling where the vaccine is given. These side effects usually last for a few days and go away without any treatment.^

People with egg allergy (including history of anaphylaxis) can safely receive the NIP flu vaccines. If you have an egg allergy, please discuss this with your vaccination provider. Serious side effects, such as a severe allergic reaction are extremely rare.


Join the flu fighters

The flu vaccine is like boot camp for your immune system.

We’ve joined forces with participating Amcal, Guardian pharmacies and Myhealth Medical Centres to provide flu vaccines this winter, to help boost your defences against the common strains of cold and flu.

Best of all, it’s available at no extra cost for eligible Medibank members with hospital or extras cover when you redeem your flu vaccination voucher from the Live Better rewards store.*

This offer is available until 31 August 2023.

Find out more

Written by Editor Medibank

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Things you should know

+ Flu vaccination may not be suitable for everyone – consult your qualified health professional regarding whether it is right for you. People from high-risk groups should seek advice from their qualified health professional. The flu vaccination reward is only available for redemption twice per member, per calendar year. Vouchers are not transferable and can only be used by the person whose name is on the voucher or dependent children of suitable ages. Available at participating Amcal or Guardian pharmacies or participating Myhealth Medical Centres only. Vouchers must be presented at the time of vaccination. Details listed on the voucher may be provided back to Medibank for the purposes of invoicing, however personal health information provided in the pre-screening form or discussed with your qualifed health professional will not be disclosed to any party. Offer available between 30th March 2023 and 31st August 2023, subject to change and while stocks last. Your voucher will be sent to the email address linked to your Live Better account at time of redemption.

~ Source: ATAGI, Statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2023, retrieved Apr 2023.

^ Australian Government Department of Aged Care Fighting Flu Starts with You – Consumer Fact Sheet 2023.

* Must be a Medibank member with hospital cover, extras cover, or hospital and extras cover, be up-to-date with premium payments and have signed up to Medibank Live Better rewards to redeem this reward. Excludes Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), Ambulance only cover, ahm covers and other selected covers. Live Better Management Pty Ltd, ACN 003 457 289 has entered into commercial arrangements with Medibank Live Better program partners and may receive commissions. Reward will be subject to Program Partner terms and conditions.