National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations on influenza vaccination

This page contains the National Health and Medical Research Council's recommendations regarding who should be vaccinated against influenza.

Page last updated: 11 April 2013

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) advises vaccination of individuals who are at risk of influenza-related complications. Vaccination should be received in the autumn in anticipation of winter influenza outbreaks. The formulation of the vaccine is reviewed annually to take account of the antigenic variation of the virus. The composition of the current season Australian vaccine is posted on this Website. Composition of Australian influenza vaccine.


  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island adults aged 50 years and over

Individuals who are at increased risk of influenza-related complications:

  • Adults and children (aged 6 months and over) with chronic disorders of the pulmonary or circulatory systems. This includes children with congenital heart disease and cystic fibrosis. Annual vaccination is also recommended for sever asthmatics, such as those requiring frequent hospitalisation.
  • Adults and children (aged 6 months and over) with other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the preceding year. This includes diabetes mellitus (and other chronic metabolic diseases), renal dysfunction, haemoglobinopathies, or immunosuppression caused by medication.
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • Children and teenagers (aged 6 months to 18 years) on long-term aspirin therapy who may therefore be at risk of developing Reye syndrome after influenza.

Those who can transmit influenza to person at increased risk:

  • Health care providers, staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, providers of home care to persons at high risk and household members of persons of increased risk groups.

Other groups:

  • Pregnant women who fall into one of the above risk categories should be vaccinated.
  • All women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season should be vaccinated in advance.
  • Influenza vaccination is recommend for HIV infected persons.
  • Any person in the above risk groups should be vaccinated against influenza prior to travel. In addition, any person travelling to the Northern Hemisphere from October to March should consider influenza vaccination prior to departure.