Why choose Friendlies for your flu vaccination?

At Friendlies we make flu shots easy.

  • Quick and convenient at your local pharmacy
  • Delivered by your trusted pharmacist
  • Available at 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?

In 2017, Australia saw one of the worst outbreaks of influenza in recorded memory. 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.

A flu shot can protect you and those around you, and is administered by your trusted pharmacist in a private consultation room.

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Can I get a flu shot?

People aged 18 years or older can be vaccinated at Friendlies. From 16th May 2018, 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.

2018 Strains

Based on World Health Organisation recommendations the 2018 quadrivalent influenza vaccine for those aged 18-64 will offer protection against the following four virus strains:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

The 2018 trivalent influenza vaccine recommended 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/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

How much does a flu vaccination cost?

For those aged 18-64, a flu vaccination at Friendlies costs $22. If you’re an eligible HBF Health member, this $22 may be full covered at Friendlies.

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 visit your GP. It’s important to note that while the vaccine itself is free, your GP may charge a consultation fee.

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

1. 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.

2. 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.                                                

3. Who is most at risk of the flu?

People with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are most at risk of influenza and its complications and should be vaccinated. These are:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • pregnant (at any stage) and breastfeeding women
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months to less than 5 years and 15 years and over
  • people aged 6 months and over with heart disease, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic neurological conditions, down syndrome, immunocompromising conditions or haemoglobinopathies (blood disorders caused by genetic changes)
  • people with other chronic conditions such as obesity, alcoholism, diabetes and kidney disease
  • people in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • people who are homeless
  • people with severe asthma who visit hospital frequently
  • children on long-term aspirin therapy
  • people with other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow-up or hospitalisation
  • Children less than 5 years
  • Preterm infants (less than 37 weeks gestation)

4. 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.

5. 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.

From 16th May 2018, 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.

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.

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

6. What’s the difference between the regular vaccine and the ‘super’ or trivalent influenza vaccine?

The trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs) have been specifically designed to create a greater immune response amongst the elderly, who are known to have a weaker response to immunisation. There are two types of TIVs available, with one containing an adjuvant which boosts the immune system’s response to the vaccine and the other containing four times the antigen compared with the standard dose vaccine. These vaccines provide better protection for people aged 65 years and over, who are at higher risk of flu related complications. Both offer protection against three virus strains (i.e. trivalent).

From 16th May 2018, people aged 65 years and over can receive a ‘super’ vaccine at Friendlies under the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program (subject to vaccine availability).

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7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Do I need an appointment to get a flu shot?

Yes you’ll need to book an appointment to get your flu shot. You can book online here.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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. 

15. 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.

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