People who are travelling during the influenza season are strongly 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:49 

  • 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 within the same year. Although the current formulation for use in the Northern Hemisphere may be preferred, it is generally not available in Australia. Receiving a dose of the Southern Hemisphere formulation for this purpose 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 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. The decision to vaccinate should take into account personal risk factors, risk of disease, and similarity between the current Southern and Northern Hemisphere formulations of influenza vaccine.

Page history

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