Christmas flu warning

11 November 2019


NSW Health is urging those travelling to the Northern Hemisphere this festive season to get a flu shot before they leave to avoid falling ill on holiday, or bringing the virus back to Australia.

Last summer saw particularly high inter-seasonal influenza activity. Travellers returning from the Northern Hemisphere who brought the flu home with them are believed to have been the major contributor to this unusual activity. 

Already had a flu shot? Get another one

People often forget when they fly to the Northern Hemisphere at Christmas that they are travelling into another winter season.

For people who have already had a flu vaccine prior to the winter season here, it is best to get another jab two weeks before leaving Australia. This is because the protection provided by flu vaccines begins to wane after a three to four months.

It is safe to have two flu shots in one year and it is particularly important for travellers aged 65 and over, pregnant women, children aged six months to five years, Aboriginal people and people with certain medical conditions who are all eligible for the free flu vaccine.

The flu shot currently being used in the Northern Hemisphere is not generally available in Australia so getting the Southern Hemisphere flu shot is the best option to protect yourself prior to travel.

See NSW Health Media release here.

Order an influenza travel poster via the Better Health Centre

Further information: