Vaccination Services

The following advice on the 2023 Influenza Vaccination Program was published by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care on 28 February 2023.

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated).

Influenza vaccination in 2023 is particularly important as influenza activity is expected to continue following a resurgence of influenza virus circulation in 2022.

Seasonal influenza vaccines funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for people most at risk, are expected to be available from April 2023 subject to local supply arrangements. Privately funded influenza vaccines for people not eligible to receive an NIP-funded vaccine are expected to be available earlier.

Key Points for 2023

  • Influenza vaccines can be co-administered with any COVID-19 vaccine on the same day.
  • Vaccine providers should consider active initiatives to improve vaccination rates in at-risk cohorts including children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Higher immunogenicity vaccine Fluad Quad is funded under the NIP and is preferentially recommended over standard quadrivalent influenza vaccines in people aged 65 years and older.
  • It is mandatory to record all influenza vaccinations given on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

The following information is taken from the ATAGI Clinical Advice issued in March 2023.

 Vaxigrip Tetra
Fluarix Tetra
Afluria Quad
Influvac Tetra
Flucelvax Quad
Fluad Quad
Fluzone High-Dose Quad
6 to 24 months
(<2 years) 
=>2 to <5 years X X X
=>5 to <60 years ✓+ ✓+ ✓+ X X
=>60 to <65 years ✓+ ✓+ ✓+ X
=>65 years
  • Ticks indicate age at which a vaccine is registered and available. Aqua boxes indicate availability for free under the NIP.
  • + NIP funding only for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pregnant women and people who have certain medical conditions

The influenza virus strains included in the 2023 Southern Hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines are shown below.

Egg-based influenza vaccines

Cell-based influenza vaccines

A/Sydney/5/2021 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus

A/Sydney/5/2021 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus

A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus

A/Darwin/6/2021 (H3N2)-like virus

B/Austria/1359417/2021-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

B/Austria/1359417/2021-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

Note: The chosen egg-based and cell-based viruses will sometimes differ if one virus cannot be used for both production systems. In this case, different viruses with similar properties are selected for vaccine production

The eligibility to receive an influenza vaccine funded through the NIP remains unchanged and is available for the following groups:

  • All children aged 6 months to <5 years (two doses are recommended and funded in the first year of vaccination)
  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months of age and over
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 5 to <65 years who have certain medical conditions (see table below)


Medical conditions

Cardiac disease

Cyanotic congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease

Chronic respiratory conditions

Severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic emphysema

Chronic neurological conditions

Hereditary and degenerative CNS diseases, seizure disorders, spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular disorders

Immunocompromising conditions

Immunocompromised due to disease or treatment, asplenia or splenic dysfunction, HIV infection

Diabetes and other metabolic disorders

Type 1 or 2 diabetes, chronic metabolic disorders

Renal disease

Chronic renal failure

Haematological disorders


Long-term aspirin therapy in children aged 5 to 10 years

These children are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection

Note: See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for advice on people who are strongly recommended to receive annual influenza vaccination but not eligible for NIP‑funded influenza vaccines.

Ideally people should receive their annual influenza vaccination before the start of the influenza season, with optimal protection against influenza occurring in the first three to four months following vaccination. The peak period of influenza circulation usually occurs from June to September in most parts of Australia; however, COVID-19 and increased international travel affected the seasonality of influenza in 2022 and may continue to affect it in 2023.

Influenza vaccines can continue to be offered as long as the influenza virus is circulating and a valid vaccine (before expiration date) is available.

People who are planning international travel should ensure they have had a 2023 influenza vaccine prior to departure.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises that for people aged 5 years and older, COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered with an influenza vaccine. Studies have demonstrated that co-administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccine raises no safety concerns and preserves the immune response to both vaccines. Co-administration may result in a higher frequency of mild to moderate adverse events and can make it harder to attribute potential adverse events to specific vaccines. It is important to advise your patient that it is more likely that they may experience common adverse effects and to report any adverse events.

In children aged 6 months to <5 years, influenza and COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered if separation would be logistically challenging. Where possible, it is recommended that vaccine administration is separated by 7-14 days due to limited data on co-administration in this age group. Co-administration may lead to higher rates of adverse effects, including fever.

Vaccination legislation and regulations

Vaccination legislation and regulations

The vaccination legislation and regulation for vaccination in community pharmacy differs for each state and territory including the types of vaccines that can be administer, who is authorised to administer vaccines and the minimum age for patients receiving a vaccine.

Australian Immunisation Register

Australian Immunisation Register

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records vaccinations given to people of all ages in Australia.

It is mandatory for all vaccination providers to report immunisations to the AIR.



The Guild has developed a range of flu vaccination resources for use in promoting your in-pharmacy service, which include posters, suggested social media posts, downloadable handouts, templates and forms.

History of Pharmacy Vaccination Services

Since well before the publication of the Community Pharmacy Roadmap in May 2010 the Guild has been actively working on expanding pharmacists professional activities in the delivery of services to improve the health outcomes of all Australians.  The Guild has always seen pharmacist vaccination as an opportunity for innovation in community pharmacy health service delivery.

On 5 December 2013, the Pharmacy Board of Australia announced that vaccination was within the current scope of practice of pharmacists. This statement followed work undertaken on its behalf by the then Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee and with consultation with the Guild.

The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) Phase 1 operated from 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2014 in 80 pharmacies and saw 10,889 influenza vaccines delivered, demonstrating that community pharmacy is well placed to improve vaccination rates. Almost one in five people vaccinated in the QPIP Phase 1 trial had indicated that they would not otherwise have been vaccinated and one in seven said it was the first time they had been vaccinated for influenza. The QPIP Phase 2 trial operated from March 2015 to April 2016 and was expanded to include measles and pertussis in 200 pharmacies.

Since early 2015, appropriately trained pharmacists in South Australia and Western Australia have been administering approved vaccines. Since 2016, appropriately trained pharmacists in Tasmania, ACT, NSW, QLD and Victoria can administer approved vaccines

Immunisation in Community Pharmacy Policy



The Guild is able to deliver training in every state and territory to become a qualified pharmacist immuniser.

Visit GuildED for training modules that provide pharmacists with practical advice and new information relating to vaccinations and vaccination services.

Further information is available from your State Branch.

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Page last updated on: 23 March 2023