Vaccination is a simple and effective way to lower your chances of becoming seriously ill or hospitalised from vaccine-preventable diseases. By keeping up to date with your vaccinations, you're also helping the community by protecting the more vulnerable people from becoming infected.
Although there are no vaccinations listed under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for non-indigenous adults aged 50 - 64, depending on your circumstances, vaccination against some diseases may be suitable for you.
Special adult groups such as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, persons at occupational risk, immunocompromised persons and pregnant women, may be able to access free government-funded vaccines under the NIP. Please contact your healthcare professional to learn about which vaccines you may be eligible for.
Commonly asked questions
Did you know that babies who get whooping cough often get it from a family member?
Young babies are at risk of whooping cough because they are too young to have their vaccinations, and whooping cough is most severe in very young infants.
Those spending time with newborns can help protect them from whooping cough by making sure their vaccinations are up to date. Immunity to whooping cough wanes over time so boosters for adults are recommended. Talk to your healthcare professional for more information.
Influenza (flu) vaccination needs to be given every year. This is because the influenza virus is constantly changing, so the vaccine changes too. In addition, the immunity provided by the vaccine wanes over time.
In Australia, the influenza vaccine generally becomes available in April each year, in advance of the peak flu season of June through to September.
Yes. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from catching the influenza. If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, you can access influenza vaccine for free from 6 months of age, under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Adults aged 65 years and over are also eligible to receive a free influenza vaccine every year.
Pregnant women can access the free influenza and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine at any time during their pregnancy. People with some chronic health conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, may also be eligible for a free influenza vaccine. Speak with your healthcare professional if you’re unsure about whether you’re eligible for any free vaccinations under the NIP. Note that a consultation fee may still apply.
Sources & Citations
- Australian Government. Department of Health. Why get immunised? Available at: https://campaigns.health.gov.au/immunisationfacts/why-get-immunised (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Australian Government. Department of Health. National Immunisation Program Schedule. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-immunisation-program-schedule-portrait (accessed 27 May 2022).
- National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance. Immunisation recommendations for adults in Australia. Available at: http://www.ncirs.org.au/sites/default/files/2018-12/adult-vaccination-fact-sheet.pdf (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Victorian Government. Better Health. How to find your vaccination records. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/How-to-find-your-vaccination-records (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Australian Government. Department of Human Services. How to get an immunisation history statement. Available at: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register/how-get-immunisation-history-statement (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines for Family and Caregivers. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/family-caregivers.html (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Australian Government. Department of Health. Immunisation for adults (20 to 64 years). Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/immunisation-for-adults-20-64-years (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Victorian Government. Better Health. Flu (influenza) – immunisation. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/flu-influenza-immunisation (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Centers for Disease Control. Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/misconceptions.htm (accessed 27 May 2022).
- Australian Government. Department of Health. Immunisation for travel. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-throughout-life/immunisation-for-travel (accessed 27 May 2022).
MAT-AU-2201300 Date of preparation June 2022Show All