Who can get a free vaccine?
The flu vaccine is free if you're pregnant.
People who are over the age of 65.
Māori or Pasifika people over the age of 55 or people with long-term conditions.
[NOT INCLUDED IN VIDEO] In 2023, the flu vaccine is also free for all children aged 6 months to 12 years old.
If you've previously had a free flu vaccine you're probably still going to be eligible for one.
If you haven't had one before, but you have a long-term condition please contact your practice nurse to find out if you're eligible for a free vaccine.
What if I'm not eligible for a free vaccine?
You're still allowed to get one, there's just a small cost.
I think that it's a way of protecting those people that might become more sick from the flu, so if you work with children, if you work with elderly or you just like to protect those around you or yourself.
Why do we sometimes experience side effects?
There is common side effects that we have when getting the flu vaccine.
When you have a vaccine it stimulates your body to respond to be able to fight off that infection.
So actually you get the same symptoms you would get if you were getting sick, but actually not getting sick it's your immune system being primed.
You might get a fever, you might get headache, you might get an achy body. That is actually a normal immune response, that is your body telling you there's something wrong, I need to fight it off and we expect it but it's nothing like getting the real disease.
Does the flu vaccine have a proven record?
The flu vaccine is not new.
The way it's made, we have lots of data and information, we've been giving the flu vaccine for decades and we can give it from as young as 6 months old all the way up to over 100.
Can I still catch the flu if I've had the vaccine?
So every year there are a number of flu viruses in the community and so the flu vaccine only covers those that were either very common or severe from the previous year and so every year there will be other viruses that aren't in the flu vaccine that people can still catch and become unwell with and so it's a prediction game.
So sometimes there will be a strain that is new that isn't covered by the flu vaccine.
Can I have the flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine?
So yes, you can actually have your COVID-19 vaccine plus the flu vaccine at the same time.
Actually, you can if you haven't had some of your childhood immunisations, such as the measles you can also have that at the same time as having your COVID-19 vaccine.
So I’d strongly recommend if you haven't already had all your COVID-19 vaccines or your booster to please have this at the same time as getting your flu vaccine.