Two new vaccinations will be available for the 2018 flu season in Australia. Fluquad® and Fluzone High Dose® are specifically tailored to provide higher protection to people over 65 years old. These will be freely available under the government's National Immunisation Program.
The new vaccinations are designed specifically for the immune systems of patients over 65 years old as our ability to respond to vaccinations changes and decreases with age. These two vaccinations have been widely used overseas and the evidence from clinical trials suggests that the new vaccinations will decrease the number of severe influenza infections and pneumonia associated with influenza infection in patients over 65 years old. This is particularly relevant following the 2017 influenza season where the majority of patients with severe complications or death caused by influenza were over the age of 65 years.
The National Immunisation Program will continue to provide free influenza vaccinations to pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and those who suffer from chronic medical conditions.
Private influenza vaccinations are available to all patients over the age of 6 months.