During an outbreak of avian influenza or swine influenza, influenza vaccination is strongly recommended for:46 

  • people who work in the poultry or pork industries
  • people in regular close contact with poultry or pigs

Routine seasonal influenza vaccination does not protect against avian or swine influenza. However, it is possible that, if a person is co-infected with avian or swine and human strains of influenza virus, the 2 strains could reassort and form a virulent strain. This strain could then spread from human to human and start a pandemic. This was the case with the swine influenza pandemic in 2009.47

Influenza vaccination can also prevent humans from transmitting influenza to animals.

Page history

Last updated: 
7 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
7 June 2018