By now, you may have heard that rates of influenza (aka the flu) in Australia are the highest they’ve been in the last couple of years. With COVID-19 restrictions easing across the country in recent months, more people are out and about, causing the flu to spread at a rapid rate. In response to this spike in cases, several state and territory governments have launched free flu vaccine campaigns to encourage people to get immunised. So, where can you get a free flu shot? Let’s take a look at a state-by-state breakdown.
New South Wales
If you’re studying in NSW, you can get a free flu vaccine from 1 June to 30 June 2022. The NSW Government is offering free flu jabs at:
- GPs (for people aged six months and over)
- Pharmacies (for people aged five years and over)
While flu jabs were previously only free for high-risk groups, the government adjusted its scheme after seeing the increase in infections. Learn more about getting the flu shot in NSW (including how to book in your preferred language).
The Queensland Government is offering free flu shots from 24 May to 30 June 2022 to all residents over the age of six months old. This includes Queenslanders who do not have Medicare, such as international students.
“We are seeing the impacts on our hospitals and if we don’t get a vaccinated community with the flu vaccine, we are going to see escalating numbers in our hospitals,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in regards to the decision.
Click here for more information on getting the flu vaccine in Queensland.
Those living in South Australia can get the flu vaccine for free until 30 June 2022 at GPs and pharmacies. On its website, the Government of South Australia names high cases of influenza as the motivation behind the decision. It highlights that, as of 24 May 2022, South Australia has reported 1,195 cases of the flu, compared to 12 cases at the same time last year.
Read more about getting the flu shot in South Australia.
In Tasmania, you can only get the flu jab for free at state government-run clinics from 4 June 2022. At the time of this writing, GPs and pharmacies still charge a fee for the flu vaccine.
You can learn more about Tasmania’s free flu vaccine program at this link.
Following the lead of many other states, Victoria announced that it would be offering free flu shots from 1 June to 30 June 2022 to all individuals aged six months and over. On its website, the government shared that it is eager to boost immunisation rates, particularly since influenza rates increased by 30 per cent at the end of May. In Victoria, you can get the flu shot for free at GPs and pharmacies.
Click here to learn more about Victoria’s immunisation scheme.
From 1 to 30 June, Western Australia is supplying free influenza vaccinations for all people who are not otherwise covered by government-funded vaccines. You can get a free flu shot at participating local pharmacies and state government-led clinics.
Read more about WA’s free immunisation scheme.
The ACT and Northern Territory
At the time of this writing, the ACT and Northern Territory have not introduced comprehensive free flu vaccine programs. That means that the only people who are eligible for free flu shots in these territories are those covered under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), which includes:
- Infants and children aged six months to less than five years of age
- All persons aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant people
- Those with health conditions and medical risk factors
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over.