2013 seasonal influenza vaccines

28 February 2013

Influenza vaccines can change from year to year as new strains of influenza virus appear. This is one reason vaccination against influenza is given every year.

Following a review of the strains of influenza that were circulating in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee recommended changes to two of the strains in the 2013 vaccine compared with the 2012 vaccine. Details of the strains were announced on the TGA website on 9 October 2012.

For the 2013 influenza season, the TGA has registered six vaccines for use in the following age groups:

Vaccine Sponsor Age group
Agrippal Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics 6 months and over
Fluarix GlaxoSmithKline 6 months and over
Influvac* Abbott Australasia 6 months and over
Vaxigrip* Sanofi-Pasteur 6 months and over
Fluvax** CSL 5 years and over**
Intanza Sanofi-Pasteur 18 to 59 years
  • * These vaccines also have a paediatric ('junior') presentation registered for use in children aged 6 to 35 months.
  • ** Febrile events have been observed in children aged 5 to under 9 years after immunisation with Fluvax. Therefore, in this age group, a decision to vaccinate with the 2013 Fluvax vaccine should be based on careful consideration of potential benefits and risks in the individual.

For further information on individual vaccines, please refer to the relevant Product Information document.

The influenza strains in the 2013 vaccines are the same as the strains in the influenza vaccines used in the recent Northern Hemisphere winter. The TGA is reviewing surveillance data from the Northern Hemisphere to ensure there have been no unexpected adverse events related to the strains in the 2013 vaccines and, in conjunction with the States and Territories, will be closely monitoring adverse event reports once the influenza vaccination program commences.