People who are travelling during the influenza season are recommended to receive influenza vaccine
People who are travelling are recommended to receive influenza vaccine, especially if influenza is circulating in the destination region or in settings with increased risk of influenza circulation during the trip, such as:48
- travellers in large tourist groups (especially those including older people)
- travellers on cruises
- travellers participating in mass gatherings (for example travellers on pilgrimage to Mecca)
Australians who have received a current Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine and are travelling later in the year to the Northern Hemisphere during their influenza season (usually October to May) may receive a second dose of influenza vaccine before departure. Although the current formulation for use in the Northern Hemisphere may be preferred, it is generally not available in Australia. Depending on individual circumstances, a Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine administered overseas should be considered for optimal protection while travelling. However, receiving a dose of the Southern Hemisphere formulation before overseas travel is acceptable.
Factors that should be considered when deciding whether a traveller would receive a second dose of influenza vaccine within the same year in Australia before departure to the Northern Hemisphere include:
- individual assessment of potential risk of influenza and severe outcomes, according to the itinerary and personal risk factors
- similarity between the current Southern and Northern Hemisphere formulations of influenza vaccine
- availability of a reliable influenza vaccine and feasibility of receiving it at the traveller’s destination
See also Vaccination for international travellers.
Similarly, returning residents who have recently received a Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine may also receive the current Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine.