Limited Flu Vaccines Now Available

This year has seen a significant increase in the reported cases of influenza. As a result, demand for flu vaccines has been unexpectedly high. Friendlies Pharmacies have a limited amount of vaccines available.

Book a Flu Shot Today

Stocks limited. Hurry, while stocks last.

What is a flu shot?

Influenza vaccines, also known as flu shots, are vaccines that protect against infection by influenza viruses.

Why choose Friendlies?

At Friendlies we make flu shots easy.

  • Quick and convenient at your local pharmacy
  • Delivered by your trusted pharmacist
  • Available at over 30 Friendlies Pharmacies across WA
  • Free for eligible HBF members*
  • While you’re in store, our friendly pharmacists can also provide expert advice about other ways to protect yourself during flu season.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A FLU VACCINATION?

Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing and stopping the spread of the flu. It will protect you and those around you who may be at increased risk of flu related complications, including older people, pregnant women and those with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity. Vaccinating against the flu helps to reduce the chance of more serious outcomes, like hospitalisation and death.

Can I get a flu shot?

People aged 18 years or older can be vaccinated at Friendlies. This includes people aged 65 years and over who wish to be vaccinated under the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program (subject to vaccine availability).

Read the full terms and conditions for a Friendlies Flu vaccination.

2019 Strains

Based on World Health Organisation recommendations the 2019 quadrivalent influenza vaccines for those aged 18-64 will offer protection against the following four virus strains:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage); and
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage).

The 2019 trivalent influenza vaccines available under the National Immunisation Program for people aged 65 years and over will offer protection against the following three virus strains:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage).

These ‘enhanced’ vaccines are recommended for those aged 65 years and over.

How much does a flu vaccination cost?

For those aged 18-64, a flu vaccination at Friendlies costs $19.95. If you’re an eligible HBF Health member, this $19.95 may be fully covered at Friendlies. You can also claim instantly in-store using HiCAPS.

Those aged 65 years or over can be vaccinated at Friendlies under the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program (subject to vaccine availability). A $10 pharmacy consultation fee applies. If you’re an eligible HBF Health member, this $10 fee may be fully covered.

If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program (sometimes referred to as the ‘super’ or ‘enhanced’ vaccine), you can also visit your GP. It’s important to note that while the vaccine itself is free, your GP may charge a consultation fee.

SKIP-THE-FLU-SEASON

HBF Member Benefits

HBF Health members on the following products may be eligible for a free flu vaccination at Friendlies.

  • Ultimate Package
  • Prime Health Package
  • Standard Extras
  • Smart Saver Twin Pack
  • Standard Extras
  • Premium Extras Mid
  • Top Extras
  • Saver Flexi Extras (if selected)
  • Flexi Extras (if selected)
  • Basic Extras

When booking online, HBF Health members will be notified if they are eligible for a free flu vaccination.

Want more information on your product? Visit myHBF or call HBF on 133 423.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the flu?

Influenza (often called the flu) is a common, highly contagious virus that affects your respiratory system. It is not the same as the common cold. Symptoms include fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, runny nose and watery eyes.

The flu is a serious disease which can lead to complications and sometimes hospitalisation.

How do you get the flu?

The flu spreads from person to person through the air when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. You can also catch the flu from touching a contaminated surface or someone’s hand with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

Who is most at risk of the flu?

People with underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity are most at risk of severe disease from seasonal influenza. These are:

  • older people
  • infants
  • Indigenous populations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia)
  • people who have never been exposed to the influenza virus
  • people who are infected with a severely harmful viral strain
  • people with chronic conditions, such as heart or lung disease, renal failure, diabetes and chronic neurologic conditions
  • people who are immunocompromised
  • people with class III obesity (BMI ≥40 kg per m2)
  • pregnant women
  • people who smoke

Do I need to get a flu vaccination every year?

The flu virus can change from year to year, and because immunity from the vaccination is not long lasting, annual vaccination is required.

When is the best time to get vaccinated?

Local health authorities will advise when flu season is expected to peak, but it usually runs from July to September, so vaccination from around May is ideal. The flu vaccination takes around two weeks to take effect, and coverage against strains of the flu in the vaccine is not long lasting, around 3-4 months .

What is the National Immunisation Program?

The Australian Government funds the cost of vaccines for people who are at high risk of influenza and its complications under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

People aged 65 years and over can receive their Government funded vaccine at Friendlies (subject to vaccine availability). While the cost of the vaccine is funded by the Government, a $10 pharmacy consultation fee applies.

The trivalent vaccines include two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain. These formulations covered under the NIP either have an increased amount of the virus strain, or an extra ingredient to provide an enhanced immune response over the quadrivalent vaccines in those aged 65 years and above. This is why the trivalent vaccines are only recommended for patients aged 65 years and over.

If you’re an eligible HBF Health member, this $10 fee may be fully covered. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program you can visit your GP. It’s important to note that while the vaccine itself is free, your GP may charge a consultation fee.

At Friendlies we can provide the National Immunisation Program (NIP) flu vaccination for those aged 65 years and over. Stores with this NIP vaccine in stock will have available appointments, book here

For further information on the National Immunisation Program go to www.immunise.health.gov.au

What is the difference between a trivalent and quadrivalent vaccine?

The trivalent vaccines include two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain. These formulations covered under the NIP either have an increased amount of the virus strain, or an extra ingredient to provide an enhanced immune response over the quadrivalent vaccines in those aged 65 years and above. This is why the trivalent vaccines are only recommended for patients aged 65 years and over.

The quadrivalent vaccines include two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains, and are recommended for those under 65 years.

Are there any side effects of the flu shot?

Some people may experience mild side effects following vaccination, such as:

  • Drowsiness or tiredness
  • Muscle aches
  • Localised pain, redness and/or swelling at the injection site
  • Occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last several weeks
  • Low-grade temperature (fever)

These side effects are usually mild, subside within a few days and do not normally require treatment.

More severe immediate adverse effects, such as hives or anaphylaxis, are very rare consequences of influenza vaccination.

Your pharmacist is trained to recognise and manage any immediate, severe reactions. Your pharmacist will check your suitability for a flu vaccination prior to vaccinating you.

Can I bring my children to be vaccinated at the pharmacy?

No, legislation in Western Australia currently dictates that pharmacists can only administer influenza vaccinations to people aged 18 years and over.

Do I need an appointment to get a flu shot?

Yes, you’ll need to book an appointment to get your flu shot.

Why do I have to wait for 15 minutes after being vaccinated?

If a serious reaction to the flu vaccine occurs, it will usually occur within 15 minutes of being vaccinated. It is therefore important for you to wait in the pharmacy for 15 minutes after being vaccinated so you can be observed for any serious reactions.

Pharmacists who deliver vaccinations are trained in first aid and CPR and know how to respond to an anaphylactic reaction. In the unlikely event of a severe reaction, the pharmacist and other pharmacy staff will act immediately to provide emergency assistance.

Will the pharmacist swab the injection site?

Swabbing the injection site with an alcohol wipe prior to vaccination is no longer recommended or required unless the skin is visibly dirty. There is no increased risk of infection when the skin is not swabbed. In fact, the alcohol in the wipe can actually irritate the skin and potentially reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines.

Are the vaccines delivered by qualified people?

Yes. At Friendlies, vaccinations are delivered by pharmacists who have successfully completed an immunisation course approved by the Department of Health as well as first aid, CPR and anaphylaxis training.

Is the flu vaccine safe?

The flu vaccine passes stringent Government safety testing before being approved for use. Plus, your pharmacist will check your suitability for a flu vaccination prior to vaccinating you.

Some people may experience mild side effects such as tenderness and/or redness at the injection site. This usually clears within a few days.

More severe immediate adverse effects, such as hives or anaphylaxis, are very rare consequences of influenza vaccination. Your pharmacist is trained to recognise and manage any immediate, severe reactions.

Does the flu vaccine work straight away?

No. Protection from a flu vaccine does not occur immediately. It takes approximately two weeks for your immune system to form antibodies which will provide protection.

Am I eligible for a free flu vaccination at Friendlies?

HBF Health members on the following products may be eligible for a free flu vaccination at Friendlies.

  • Ultimate Package
  • Prime Health Package
  • Standard Extras
  • Smart Saver Twin Pack
  • Standard Extras
  • Premium Extras Mid
  • Top Extras
  • Saver Flexi Extras (if selected)
  • Flexi Extras (if selected)
  • Basic Extras

When booking online, HBF Health members will be notified if they are eligible for a free flu vaccination.

Want more information on your product? Visit myHBF or call HBF on 133 423.

Can you get the flu from a flu shot?

No. The viruses in the flu vaccine are not capable of causing the flu as they are inactive or ‘dead’. When you receive a flu vaccination, your immune system’s response is to form antibodies which will provide protection. Sometimes, flu-like symptoms may occur within 6-12 hours of receiving the vaccine and last 1-2 days. This is a common reaction to many vaccines.

*For members on eligible products, up to the annual maximum. Service eligibility applies.