Never too Late to Vaccinate

We’ve reached autumn and it’s time to think about protecting ourselves against this year’s flu and COVID-19.

Vaccines protect older people from vaccine-preventable diseases or infections as well as protecting babies and children.

As we get older, our immune system becomes less effective at fighting off some infections. This may mean that we may catch infections more easily than younger people, and it can take a lot longer for us to recover from these infections. Thus, our immune system may need a ‘boost’ from vaccines to help protect us against serious infections such as COVID-19 or flu (influenza), and they can sometimes even prevent death.


Choose to get vaccinated

Vaccines have been proven to be a safe way to protect various age groups, including babies, children, adults and seniors. Vaccines help stop the spread of infections by protecting others in our community as well.

Getting vaccinated does not just protect us from acquiring serious infections, it also protects our loved ones, family and community from getting ill because the spread of infection stops with us.

Vaccines for older people can also prevent many serious infections that can cause health complications such as chronic pain, difficulty in breathing or other discomforts later in life. With the added protection of regular vaccinations, this helps us live a longer, healthier and more comfortable life.


Choose to get vaccinated as soon as it is available

It is best to choose to get vaccinated as soon as it is available. Why? Because it usually takes about two weeks for vaccines to provide optimal protection. Getting the shot as early as possible provides us with early protection that we need to protect ourselves, our family and community.


Some vaccines are free of charge

The good news is that we can protect ourselves against many infections for free! The Australian Government funds some immunisations for older people under the National Immunisation Program: free vaccines are available for Herpes Zoster (shingles), Influenza (flu) and Pneumococcal infections for non-indigenous adults aged who are 70 or above.


What about COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge too. COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary and it remains the most effective protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), if it has been 6 months since you received a COVID-19 vaccine or had a COVID-19 infection, an additional vaccination:
–  is recommended for people aged 75 or above
–  should be considered for people aged 65 to 74 years
–  should be considered for people aged 18 to 64 years with severe immunocompromise following discussion with their healthcare provider.

If you are unsure of your last COVID-19 vaccine dose or when you last had a COVID-19 infection, it is safe to get another. Please talk to your doctor or nurse about the benefits and risks of vaccination.

It’s never too late to vaccinate!

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. (2024). Residential aged care residents. Retrieved from