After two years of closed international borders and staying at home, 2022 is expected to be a bad flu season. It’s more important than ever for you to get your flu shot and be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations. The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu this year, just as the COVID-19 vaccine is your best protection against COVID-19.
You can get your flu shot at the same time as you get your COVID-19 vaccination as the recommended interval between getting the two vaccines has changed. You can receive both vaccines at your local GP or pharmacist, people eligible for a free flu vaccine can receive both vaccines at our Sunshine, Melton or Caroline Springs Vaccination Hubs. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone 5 years and older.
People eligible for a free flu vaccine include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older
- Pregnant women
- People aged six months to less than five years
- People aged 65 and older
- People aged 6 months and older with severe immunocompromise.
Eligible children aged 6 months to 4 years will be vaccinated in our Children’s Clinic Service located at the ground floor children’s clinic reception at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s, 176 Furlong Road, St Albans. Children aged less than 5 years cannot get vaccinated within our COVID-19 vaccination hubs. Children under nine years receiving their influenza vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine, spaced by a minimum of one month.
While a previous COVID-19 infection can reduce the risk of re-infection, the Delta and Omicron variants continue to spread in Victoria. Immunity from the Omicron variant may be very short lived and varies from person to person.
If you have recently recovered from COVID-19 you can get your flu shot, or your third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are feeling well. You should wait three months after having COVID before getting your fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11 begin on Monday 10 January. To attend our Melton or Sunshine vaccination hubs, book online at https://portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week.
Pfizer will be provided to 5-11 year olds and they will receive a smaller dose of the vaccine created specifically for their age group.
As of 19 January, the interval between the second vaccine dose and third dose is three months.
You are eligible for a COVID-19 third dose if you are 16 years and older and had your second dose of your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least three months ago.
Third doses are not mandatory; however,they are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19.
Most people will receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as their third dose.
- Four COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Novavax) have been approved for use in Australia. You can choose which one you wish to receive.
- Western Health hubs will be administering Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines.
- The first two doses need to be given a few weeks apart. Effective from Monday 4 October, state-run vaccination centres will administer the second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least three weeks after the first dose.
- The third dose is given three months after the second dose.
- The vaccines are free. This includes for Australian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, people seeking asylum, temporary and provisional visa holders (including international students and temporary migrants).
- The vaccines are voluntary – you can choose if you want to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The more people who are vaccinated, the more protected our community will be.
The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and getting the COVID-19 vaccine is your doctor/general practitioner (GP).
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine:
- reduces your risk of getting sick with COVID-19
- protects you against becoming very sick if you do get COVID-19
- helps to protect your friends, family and community.
If most people are vaccinated, the virus can’t spread as easily. This also protects people who can’t get vaccinated.
The Australian Government has provided the following information to help people who are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prepare for their first appointment:
- Information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine
- Information on COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine
- Information on COVID-19 Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine
- Information on COVID-19 Novavax (Nuvaxovid) vaccine
- Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination
- Consent form
- After your COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccination
- After your COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination
- After your COVID-19 Moderna (Spikevax) vaccination
- After your COVID-19 Novavax (Nuvaxovid) vaccination
Available in other languages (click on symbol next to information above)
People will need to wear a face mask and be COVIDSafe when they’re in a vaccination hub, unless they have a lawful reason not to.
It is very important to remember that people should not attend a vaccination hub if:
- they have COVID-19 symptoms
- they are a close contact, or
- have been told to isolate.
Even if a person has a booked appointment, they should NOT attend a vaccination hub if they have even slight symptoms and instead should get tested and isolate.
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service is now offering an in home vaccination service.
The Western Public Health Unit provides health care and contact tracing support to COVID positive patients in the north western metropolitan region. Their website outlines what to do if you or someone you know tests positive for COVID-19.
National Coronavirus Helpline:
1800 020 080
Translating & Interpreting Service:
1800 643 787
National Speech & Hearing Relay Service: