More than 20,000 deaths in Australia involved influenza or pneumonia in 2011.

At the end of April, there was no indication that the 2014 influenza season had yet commenced. Therefore, allowing two weeks to build immunity following vaccination, it is not too late to commit for those considering immunisation.

Healthcare workers should consider vaccination to protect themselves from occupationally acquired infection, and also to offer herd immunity to patients through inhibiting transmission.

The excipients vary slightly between brands, hence allergies to neomycin, gentamicin, or polymyxin B sulphate can be managed, while the risks from egg (and chicken) allergies should be carefully considered.

The Immunise Australia Program makes influenza vaccine available at no charge to particular groups within the community, which are: people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over, and anyone aged six months and over with a medical condition which increases the risk of complications from influenza.

The influenza strains contained within the 2014 Australian vaccines are the same as those recommended for the recent Northern Hemisphere Winter, and include two different strains from the 2013 Australian season.

2014 Influenza Virus Vaccines

Brand Name Age Range Sponsor NIP*
Agrippal® 6 months and over Novartis Y
Fluarix® 6 months and over GlaxoSmithKline Y
Fluvax® 5 years and over
(Caution 5 <-> 9 years)
bioCSL Y
Influvac® 6 months and over Abbott N
Influvac® Junior 6 <-> 35 months Abbott N
Intanza® 18 <-> 59 years Sanofi-Pasteur N
Vaxigrip® 6 months and over Sanofi-Pasteur Y
Vaxigrip® Junior 6 <-> 35 months Sanofi-Pasteur Y

* Available through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

For further information on influenza vaccinations, please speak with your HPS Pharmacies pharmacist, or doctor.

Please review full product information before prescribing.

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