The flu (influenza) is a virus that spreads from person to person through the air and on your hands. If you get the flu, you might get a high fever, bad cough, joint pains, body aches, have difficulty breathing and feel really tired.
Most people only get sick for a week but some people get sicker and need to go to hospital. The flu can cause pneumonia or bronchitis, and can make some existing illnesses worse. Some people can die from the flu.
Yes, the flu can be prevented.
The flu shot protects you from three different types of flu.
The flu changes all the time, that’s why you need to get the flu shot every year.
Get your flu shot in autumn so your body has time to protect itself before the flu season starts in winter.
You will not get flu from the flu shot.
You need the flu shot if you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who is:
- Six months to less than five years of age.
- 15 years of age and over.
- Five years of age and over with one of the following medical conditions:
- Heart disease.
- Lung conditions, such as asthma.
- Chronic illnesses that mean you have to see a doctor more often, such as diabetes.
- Chronic diseases of the nervous system.
- Low immunity.
- Renal disease and failure.
- Children aged six months to 10 years who are on aspirin as part of their treatment
The flu shot protects your health and decreases hospitalisations and possible death from flu related infections.
If you are pregnant, you are at higher risk of getting sicker with the flu. The flu shot is safe for pregnant women and provides protection for newborn babies during their first months of life.
If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, you can now have a FREE flu shot if you are aged six months to five years of age, 15 years and over, or a child six months or older with an existing medical condition.
- Flu shots are the best way to help fight the spread of flu in the community.
- You can get your free flu shot from Aboriginal Medical Services, doctors and immunisation providers.
If you have any questions, talk to your doctor, Aboriginal Health Worker or nurse.
State and territory contact information
- ACT - (02) 6205 2300
- NSW - 1300 066 055
- NT - (08) 8922 8044
- QLD - 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- SA - 1300 232 272
- TAS - 1800 671 738
- VIC - 1300 882 008
- WA - (08) 9321 1312
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Affiliates
- ACT - 02 6284 6222
- NSW - 02 9212 4777
- NT - 08 8944 6666
- QLD - 07 3328 8500
- SA - 08 8273 7200
- TAS - 03 6234 0700
- VIC - 03 9411 9411
- WA - 08 9227 1631
For more information about the 2015 seasonal influenza vaccine, visit Immunise Australia Program website or call the Immunise Australia Information line: 1800 671 811
All information in this fact sheet is correct as at March 2015 and valid for the 2015 influenza season.