NSW Health is delivering National Immunisation Program (NIP) influenza vaccine to providers. The NSW quota of NIP influenza vaccines arrive at the NSW State Vaccine Centre over many weeks. Not all stock is available at the one time.

Distribution of influenza vaccine to residential care facilities commenced on 21 March 2022. Distribution to General Practitioners, Aboriginal Medical Services, Pharmacies and NSW Health facilities commenced on 28 March 2022. Influenza vaccine distribution is being prioritised for regional/rural areas. It takes around 4 weeks to distribute first orders. Immunisation providers should make sure that they have received their vaccine delivery before booking immunisation clinics.

Ordering influenza vaccines

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

  • The pre-allocation confirmation process opened on Monday 7th March. 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.
  • The first order may be delivered over a couple of deliveries. Each delivery received must be confirmed as received on the online vaccine ordering system. This includes pharmacies receiving NIP stock of influenza vaccine for people aged 65 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.
  • 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' below).

Vaccine strains

The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines for Australia in 2022 introduces two new strains to the NIP vaccines when compared to the composition of the vaccines for Australia in 2020: a new A (H3N2) like virus strain, a new B like virus strain:

  • an A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

Influenza vaccines

Four NIP vaccines will be available in 2022:

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.

Updated ATAGI advice on administering seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022

Updated advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) on the administration of 2022 seasonal influenza vaccines is available on the Department's website: Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)

Key points

  • Influenza vaccine and a dose of COVID-19 vaccine can be administered on the same day
  • Further information is available about the COVID-19 vaccination program
  • As international borders open, seasonal influenza virus may start to re-emerge and circulate in Australia
  • Influenza vaccination is recommended prior to international travel
  • If a person has had the 2021 influenza vaccine in late 2021 or early 2022, they should still have the 2022 influenza vaccine when it becomes available

Getting prepared - 2022 influenza vaccination program resources

Reporting influenza vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register

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

Eligibility for free influenza vaccine

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded 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 (including Aboriginal and medically at risk)
  • 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 and severe asthma requiring hospitalisation in the last 12 months
    • obesity where the BMI is ≥30kg/m2
    • other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
    • chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
    • impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
    • 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 (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.

Current as at: Monday 18 July 2022
Contact page owner: Immunisation