The best way to protect your patients from the risk of serious influenza is to offer annual influenza vaccination. This page contains information about the 2024 influenza vaccination program.

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Updated ATAGI advice on administering seasonal influenza vaccines in 2024

Updated advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) on the administration of 2024 seasonal influenza vaccines is available soon on the Department's website at  Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Key points

  • Influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over.
  • All vaccinations must be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The new 'vaccine type' field should be used to record specific details of the vaccine administered, such as funding under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) or administration during pregnancy,
  • Influenza vaccine can be co-adminstered (given on the same day) with any COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Flucelvax Quad, a cell-based influenza vaccine is funded under the NIP in 2024 for at-risk population aged 5 to 64 years. There is no preference for use between Flucelvax Quad and standard dose egg-based influenza vaccines.
  • If a person had a 2023 formulation of influenza vaccine in late 2023 or early 2024, they are still recommended to receive a 2024 formulation of influenza vaccine when it becomes availble.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) have recommended that the B Yamagata lineage component is no longer warranted in seasonal influenza vaccines, as this lineage has not been seen for several years. However, the quadrivalent vaccines available in Australia continue to include the B Yamagata component, and ATAGI supports the use of these vaccines in 2024.

Eligibility for free influenza vaccine

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza:

  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:
    • cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
    • chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe asthma (for which frequent medical consultations or the use of multiple medications is required), cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and chronic emphysema
    • chronic neurological conditions, including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system (CNS) diseases (including multiple sclerosis), neuromuscular disorders, spinal cord injuries and seizure disorders
    • immunocompromising conditions, including immunocompromised due to disease or treatment (e.g. malignancy, transplantation and/or chronic steroid use), asplenia or splenic dysfunction and HIV infection
    • diabetes and other metabolic disorders, including Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and chronic metabolic disorders
    • chronic renal failure
    • haemoglobinopathies
    • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy
  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over (a vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).

Refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook for detailed advice, including eligibility.

 

Vaccine strains

The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines for Australia in 2023 introduces one new strain to the NIP vaccines when compared to the composition of the vaccines for Australia in 2023: a new A (H1N1)-like virus strain.

Egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines:

  • A/Victoria/4897/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Thailand/8/2022 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus and
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

Cell- or recombinant- based quadrivalent influenza vaccines:

  • A/Wisconsin/67/2022 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Massachusetts/18/2022 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus and
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

Both egg-based and cell-based vaccines will be availablein Australia in 2024 under the NIP.

Influenza vaccines

Four influenza vaccines will be available under the National Immunisation Program in 2024:

Reporting influenza vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register

 It is mandatory to report administration of influenza vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines and all other NIP vaccines to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). All immunisation providers must apply to have access to the Australian Immunisation Register. Access to the AIR is through PRODA. More information about PRODA access can be found on Services Australia.

Influenza vaccine supply

Distribution of National Immunisation Program influenza vaccines will commence when supplies arrive at the NSW Vaccine Centre from vaccine suppliers under Australian Government contract. The NSW quota of NIP influenza vaccines arrive at the NSW Vaccine Centre over many weeks. Not all stock is available at the one time. To ensure your practice or pharmacy receives influenza vaccines refer to the advice 'Ordering influenza vaccine'.

Ordering influenza vaccines

The timing of NIP influenza vaccine availability may be different to the availability of privately purchased influenza vaccines.

  • For immunisation providers with an existing vaccine ordering account, a pre-allocation confirmation process will open from early March 2024. Immunisation providers will receive an email from the NSW Vaccine Centre
  • Providers who do not approve their pre-allocated order in time, can place an online order through the usual process, once online ordering opens. Only online orders are accepted. Refer to the influenza vaccination provider toolkit for further information about the pre-allocation process.
  • Each delivery received must be confirmed as received on the online vaccine ordering system. This includes pharmacies receiving stock of NIP influenza vaccine for people aged 5 years and over.
  • Once a complete order of influenza vaccines has been received and the provider has confirmed receipt, a subsequent order can be placed (if required).
  • Restrictions may be placed on the number of influenza vaccine doses that can be ordered and these may change over time based on vaccine supply and demand.
  • Only order enough vaccines required for use in a maximum 4-week period. This helps to ensure that enough quantities of vaccine are available to all providers. Please ensure you have fridge capacity for the volume of vaccines ordered.
  • Vaccination clinics should only be scheduled once vaccines have been received.
  • Keep vaccines in their original cardboard packaging to protect them from light and temperature changes.
  • Please ensure that free influenza vaccines are only given to eligible people (see 'Eligibility for free influenza vaccine').

For further information please refer to the influenza vaccine information sheet developed to assist providers with managing the various influenza vaccine presentations and eligibility for each vaccine.

Influenza vaccine safety

Data on the safety of the influenza vaccines is continuously monitored by the TGA and AusVaxSafety. There is extensive surveillance that demonstrate that the influenza vaccines used in Australia have an excellent safety profile. Weekly updates are available on AusVaxSafety.

Other influenza vaccine safety resources

Getting prepared - 2024 influenza vaccination program resources

A wide range of influenza and other respiratory illness resources are available. These include resources for:

  • health professionals
  • community
  • pregnant women
  • residential care
  • Aboriginal communities
  • multicultural communities.

We encourage you to display assets in vaccination clinics, GP waiting rooms, pharmacies, hospitals, residential carefacilities, community health clinics and any other relevant health care facilities.

 Below you will find further resources to help you prepare for the 2024 vaccination program:

Other resources

 

 

Current as at: Tuesday 27 February 2024
Contact page owner: Immunisation