Healthy living

Influenza (flu) vaccine for people aged 65 years and over

  • Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious virus that affects the respiratory system.
  • People aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza.
  • The influenza vaccine is free for people aged 65 years and over.
  • Vaccination is the best protection against influenza and its complications.
  • Based on the most recent medical advice, you can receive the influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, if required.

Why should people aged 65 years and over get the influenza vaccine?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious disease caused by the influenza virus.

People aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza than other healthy adults and are strongly recommended to get immunised against the influenza every year. Even people who are relatively healthy and who rarely get sick are advised to get vaccinated.

If you don’t catch influenza, you can’t pass it on to others.

When should I get the influenza vaccine?

For best protection against influenza, people aged 65 years and over are strongly advised to get the influenza vaccine every year. After vaccination it can take up to two weeks to develop protection.

Based on the most recent medical advice, you can receive the influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, if required.

Which influenza vaccine is recommended for people aged 65 years and over?

A vaccine is available that has been designed for people aged 65 years and over.

The vaccine increases the immune system’s response among older adults, who are known to have a weaker response to immunisation. The vaccine includes influenza A (H3N2) which has the greatest impact on people aged over 65 years.

Where can people aged 65 years and over get vaccinated?

The influenza vaccine is available in metropolitan and country WA from immunisation providers including GP clinics, community health clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services. Throughout June 2022, influenza vaccines will also be available at public COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

The government-funded influenza vaccine can also be accessed for over 65s through registered pharmacies. Ask your local pharmacy for details.

For further information, contact your immunisation provider.

Can I get the influenza vaccine for free?

Yes. People aged 65 years and older are eligible to receive free government-funded influenza vaccinations.

Note: the vaccine is free however you may be charged a consultation fee. Check costs when making an appointment.

More information

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • Visit healthdirect (external site) or call 1800 022 222
  • Phone the National Immunisation Information Line on 1800 671 811
  • For emergency or life-threatening conditions, visit an emergency department or dial triple zero (000) to call an ambulance

Last reviewed: 24-04-2021
Acknowledgements

Public Health


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Image: Elderly man Text: Protect yourself and others this winter. Book your influenza vaccination.