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COVID-19 and the flu vaccine
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

Getting a flu shot now will help in the fight against COVID-19.

What does the flu vaccine have to do with heart disease? 

Your risk of having a heart attack is six times higher in the week after a bout of the flu. Viruses like influenza ‘the flu’ can cause an inflammatory response in your body, placing strain on your heart; this could lead to heart failure or an abnormal heartbeat. The flu can also destabilise plaque in your blood vessels, and this can cause a blockage and possible heart attack. 

The flu vaccine does not protect you against COVID-19, but it does help to prevent the flu and protect your heart. 

The cross over between the winter flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic makes it even more important to get the flu vaccine.  

To help look after your heart, you should get the vaccine before the flu season starts to peak in June. 

How do I get my flu vaccine?  

People with heart disease, people 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are among those eligible to receive a free flu shot every year under the National Immunisation Program.  

Note that your healthcare provider may charge a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment. 

Call your doctor or pharmacist to book in your flu vaccine today.  

Are flu vaccines out of stock? 

Australia has a large stockpile of flu vaccine, around 16.5 million doses. There has been very strong early demand for flu vaccines in the community this year. All state and territory governments are distributing the vaccine to ensure supply for the National Immunisation Program. 

Contact your local general practice or pharmacy to make your appointment to have a flu vaccine; at the same time, you can check if they have the vaccine in stock. Many pharmacies and general practices are setting up waiting lists for flu shots.  


Visit the Department of Health website for more information on influenza vaccination

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