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Influenza vaccination 2024

Influenza, commonly known as the flu is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread by contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes.

Every year, influenza causes widespread illness in the community, and we miss out on the things we love to do!

Vaccination against the flu has the biggest impact to reduce community spread.


Have questions? Have a look to see if the answer is here.

Getting the flu vaccine helps protect both you and the people around you. It’s particularly important to protect vulnerable people in our community who can’t be vaccinated, such as babies younger than 6 months.1

Who is at risk of getting the flu?

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Aged 65 years and older
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Those with chronic medical conditions including:
    1. Cardiac disease
    2. Chronic respiratory condition
    3. Immunocompromising condition
    4. Haematological disorder
    5. Chronic metabolic disorder
    6. Chronic kidney disease
    7. Chronic neurological condition
    8. Long-term aspirin therapy in children aged 5 to 10 years.

If you are in any of these categories you are likely to qualify for the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy and gain your vaccination at no cost.

Yes it is. The stock provided to pharmacies and the stock provided to doctor’s clinics is the same formulation.

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) was introduced by the Commonwealth and State governments to reduce the number of cases of diseases that are preventable by vaccination. The program provides free vaccines to *eligible people. Eligible persons include:

  • People 65 years and over
  • Pregnant women (at any stage during pregnancy)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • Children 6 months to less than 5 years
  • People 6 months and over with certain medical conditions.

*Bendigo UFS Pharmacies will provide to eligible patients a free NIP vaccine.

For more information on the NIP Schedule refer to: health.gov.au/topics/immunisation/when-to-get-vaccinated/national-immuniation-program-schedule

This is the National Immunisation Vaccinations in Pharmacy Program. Pharmacies participating in this program are able to provide NIP vaccinations without an additional service fee to the patient – meaning the vaccination and administering is free. 

To be eligible for this program patients must be:

    • aged 5 years and over at the time of vaccination and
    • eligible to receive the NIP vaccine in the pharmacy.

65 year old vaccination stock is now available.

A walk-in vaccination is when you haven’t pre-booked an appointment for your vaccination and simply walked into our pharmacy. Bendigo UFS Pharmacies are able to provide walk-in appointments, subject to discretion of the Pharmacist on Duty. We strongly suggest you make an appointment via the booking links on this page.

While the early symptoms of the seasonal flu and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be similar — fever and cough, for example — and they are transmitted the same way, there are some key differences.

Influenza typically has a shorter incubation period than COVID-19 (the time from the infection to when symptoms appear), which means influenza can spread faster. For more comparisons, visit the World Health Organisation website here.3456

Yes. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends that flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine are able to be administered on the same day. 

The traditional influenza vaccine is grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis in response to the vaccine is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.

It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other adverse effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you’re  concerned, ask your immuniser if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine, instead of the recommended 15 minutes.[1]

Another option is the cell based vaccine. A newer influenza vaccine is now available that is cell based and not grown in eggs. This is now available on the NIP as well as privately – speak to our immunisers for more information.

[1] https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/flu-vaccine-faqs

No, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. All flu vaccines used in Australia are ‘inactivated’, which means they do not contain the live flu virus and so you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine.

Some people may experience side effects that may include fever, tiredness and muscle aches. These side effects can start within a few hours of you being vaccinated and sometimes last for 1 or 2 days. They usually go away on their own, once your body has developed an immune response to the vaccine, which will protect you from the flu virus.

It’s important to remember that the side effects show the vaccine is triggering an immune response, which is what it’s designed to do.[1]

[1] https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/flu-vaccine-faq

Becoming a member is easy. Either sign up today in store or visit bendigoufs.com.au/membership to become a member online. You’ll instantly be able to experience the benefits across Bendigo UFS Pharmacies and Bendigo UFS Optical.

For Bendigo UFS members, flu vaccination costs $33.26 and for non-members, $36.95. 

Bendigo UFS Pharmacies also provides the National Immunisation Program and which is eligible to the following criteria for free of charge:  

The National Immunisation Program applies to:

– people aged 6 months to less than 5 years

– Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older

– pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)

– people aged 65 years and older

– people aged 6 months and older with the following risk conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications:

  • cardiac disease
  • chronic respiratory conditions
  • chronic neurological conditions
  • immunocompromising conditions
  • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • renal disease
  • haematological disorders
  • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.

Page last updated 21 March 2024