The latest Royal Children’s Hospital National Child Health Poll surveyed Australian parents, asking a series of questions about the flu vaccine.
Key findings include:
- More than half of Australian children (57%) are likely to have the flu vaccine in 2023, with uptake highest in children under five years old (63%).
- One in four parents (25%) are not sure about vaccinating their child against the flu this tear, holding concerns about safety or efficacy of the vaccine.
- One in four parents (25%) are not aware that healthy children can get seriously unwell from the flu.
- More than two in three parents (70%) not intending to get their child vaccinated do not know that the flu vaccine is needed every year.
Despite good intentions to vaccinate their children against the flu, new research has found that many Australian parents have not yet got around to getting it done, with only one in 10 children vaccinated by late April. The latest Royal Children’s Hospital National Child Health Poll has also found that while intention to vaccinate for flu has risen overall, one in four parents are still not sure about vaccinating their child for flu this year and one in five are not planning to vaccinate for flu. There are also some concerning gaps in knowledge about flu, with one third of parents not aware that flu can cause serious illness in otherwise healthy children.Download the report
The poll surveyed 2,001 parents in April 2023, who provided data on 3,289 children aged between six months and less than 18 years.Download the questions
In the news
7NEWS Melbourne: Cases of flu on rise
10 News First: Only 10% of children are unvaccinated against the flu
ABC News Breakfast: Low vaccination rates blamed for potentially bad flu season
Information for parents
Tips for parents
- Influenza, commonly called the flu, is an infection caused by a strain of the influenza virus.
- The flu mainly affects the nose, throat and lungs, although it can involve other parts of the body
- The flu is spread by infected people and symptoms include fever, body aches, a runny nose or a sore throat.
- As the flu virus changes every year, the vaccine needs to change every year too.
- The flu vaccine is the most effective way to reduce the chance of your child becoming sick with the flu.
- The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu.
- Yearly vaccinations are recommended for everyone aged six months and above.
- The best time to get the flu vaccine is just before winter and the flu season, as the protection of the vaccine wears off with time.
- The flu vaccine is free for all children aged six months to less than five years.
- The most common side effects of the flu vaccine are pain and redness at the site of injection.
- It takes about two weeks to develop immunity following vaccination.
- Keeping children well helps ensure they don’t miss out on attending school and other important activities.
- Speak to your GP or healthcare provider so you can make the best choice for your family.