Start planning for May flu jab

20 March 2017

Western Australians are being advised to get their annual flu vaccinations in May in order to ensure they are well protected against flu throughout the winter season.

Whooping cough immunisation reminder

The advice comes as new medical evidence suggests that protection provided by the flu vaccine wanes over time.

Department of Health Communicable Disease Control medical co-ordinator Professor Paul Effler it made sense for people to be vaccinated closer to the beginning of flu season to ensure they got the best protection during the period of greatest risk, which in WA, is  usually July to October.

The 2017 flu vaccine is expected to be available, free of charge, for high risk groups in late April. These groups include people over the age of 65 years, those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, Indigenous adults and children under 5 years of age.

This year’s vaccine will help protect against four strains of flu, including a newly added H1N1 ‘Michigan strain’ which has been circulating in the northern hemisphere.

Professor Effler said the exceptions for delaying flu vaccinations until May included people travelling to the north of Australia, where the flu season tended to start earlier, and pregnant women who wanted to vaccinated as soon as possible.