Healthy living

Influenza (flu) vaccine for people aged 65 years and over

  • People aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza.
  • A free Influenza vaccine is available for people aged 65 years and over.
  • Getting vaccinated helps to protect you and others in the community.

Why should people aged 65 years and over get the influenza vaccine?

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a highly contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. People aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza than other healthy adults and are strongly recommended to get immunised against the influenza every year.

Even people who are relatively healthy and who rarely get sick are advised to get vaccinated.

If you don’t catch influenza, you can’t pass it on to others.

When should I get the influenza vaccine?

For best protection against influenza, people aged 65 years and over are strongly advised to get the influenza vaccine every year.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it is advised to get the influenza vaccine as soon as it is available.

After vaccination it can take up to two weeks to develop protection.

It is best to wait at least 14 days between receiving a dose of influenza vaccine and either dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Which influenza vaccine is recommended for people aged 65 years and over?

A vaccine is available that has been designed for people aged 65 years and over.

The vaccine increases the immune system’s response among older adults, who are known to have a weaker response to immunisation. The vaccine includes influenza A (H3N2) which has the greatest impact on people aged over 65 years.

Where can people aged 65 years and over get vaccinated? Is it available from pharmacies?

The influenza vaccine is available in metropolitan and country WA from immunisation providers including GP clinics, community health clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services.

The government-funded influenza vaccine can also be accessed for over 65s through registered pharmacies. Ask your local pharmacy for details.

For further information, contact your GP or immunisation provider.

Can I get the influenza vaccine for free?

Yes. People aged 65 years and older are eligible to receive free government-funded influenza vaccinations.

Note: the vaccine is free however you may be charged a consultation fee. Check costs when making an appointment.

More information

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • Visit a GP after hours
  • Visit healthdirect (external site) or call 1800 022 222
  • Phone the National Immunisation Information Line on 1800 671 811
  • For emergency or life-threatening conditions, visit an emergency department or dial triple zero (000) to call an ambulance

Last reviewed: 24-04-2021

Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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