“Should I get the Flu vax now or later?”

“Should I get the Flu vax NOW or LATER?”
This is a question that we are increasingly being asked at the moment, especially given the large amount of advertising for cheap or “free” influenza vaccines being promoted already by some pharmacies and medical centres.
Some of the recent expert evidence is that immunity after the flu vax may only last approx 4 months, and given that the influenza season typically goes from July to September/October (see attached graph from NSW Health), now may be too EARLY to be doing the flu vax for a lot of people!
So even though we also currently have stock of the private flu vax ready to go, we are advising a lot of people to DELAY getting the flu vax until late April/May to make it more effective.
Also, ALL children from 6 months to 5 years of age will receive a FREE flu vax this year, no matter which GP you go to. This is being provided by the NSW Government.
Also, there are different types for different ages. For example, people over 65 yrs old will be receiving a different, high-dose flu vax for the first time this year for better efficacy. This vaccine is NOT yet available.
Also, some people need 2 doses of the flu vax, not one. For example children under 9 yrs age who have not had 2 doses in the same year before, need to have 2 doses this year.
It is important to get it done right. One size does not fit all!
So before you rush out to get your flu vax, seek your regular GP’s professional advice first about WHICH flu vax is right for you, HOW MANY you need, and what the best TIMING is!
AMA media statement: