Influenza continues to cause a substantial burden on the community. Widening recommendations, a focus on vaccinating children, improved access to funded vaccination and new enhanced vaccines for older adults are all aimed at improving control of influenza.
- Influenza is increasingly recognised as being responsible for a large burden of disease not only in older people and people with medical conditions that increase the risk of severe influenza, but also in healthy young children, pregnant women and Indigenous Australians.
- Vaccination provides good protection and is recommended for all people from 6 months of age.
- Age-appropriate vaccines should be used in children; enhanced vaccines, which induce a stronger immune response, are preferentially recommended for people aged 65 years and over.
- Free vaccination under the National Immunisation Program is available for older adults, people with certain comorbid conditions, pregnant women and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. State-funded programs provide free vaccine for children aged from 6 months to under 5 years of age.