Sydney (NSW Health Media Release, 25 April 2023): NSW Health is urging the community to book in for their influenza vaccine as the state’s flu season has now begun, with the latest data indicating influenza notifications have continued to increase.

More than 1,200 people in NSW were diagnosed with influenza during the past week, 9 April to 15 April, a 13 percent increase compared with the previous week.

Minister Park and Dr. Chant provided COVID-19, influenza, and public health updates

At the same time, there was also an increase in the number of people who presented to NSW emergency departments with influenza-like illness and required admission to hospital – the greatest increase has been in children.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said now is the time to book in for your influenza vaccine.

“Everyone six months and older is recommended to get a flu vaccine and these are available through GPs for any age group, as well as through pharmacies for everyone aged five years and over,” Dr Chant said.

“In particular, we want to remind priority groups that the flu vaccine is free and readily available – so please, book in today to give yourself the best possible protection from severe illness that can be brought on by influenza.”

Priority groups include:

• Children aged 6 months to under five years

• People aged 65 and over

• Aboriginal people from 6 months of age

• Pregnant women

• Those with serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, severe asthma, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease.

Influenza is serious


Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.

All adults can get a 2023 COVID-19 vaccine booster if it’s been six months or longer since their last COVID-19 booster or confirmed infection (whichever is most recent) for additional protection against severe illness from COVID-19. More advice on COVID-19 booster vaccines can be found here.

We can all take steps to help protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19 and flu, including:  

• Stay up to date with your recommended flu and COVID-19 vaccinations

• Stay home if you have cold or flu symptoms

• Wear a mask in crowded, indoor places

• Get together outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces with open doors and windows

• Wash or sanitise your hands often

• Talk with your doctor now if you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or influenza to make a plan about what to do if you get sick, including what test to take, and discussing if you are eligible for antiviral medicines

• Don’t visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness if you have cold or flu symptoms or have tested positive to COVID-19 or influenza.

• Take a rapid antigen test to test for COVID-19 especially before visiting vulnerable loved ones. 

[The flu is highly contagious and can cause serious illness. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by booking your flu shot through a local pharmacy, your doctor or Aboriginal Medical Services.]

Important Links:

This video has already been posted on the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) YouTube page and social media platform and will also be shared on the NSW Health social channels.



For all the recordings of the online presser, please see link to MHCS website:

Influenza (Flu) 

  • Influenza is serious. Get your flu shot today.

NSW Health website – with resources and pages in multiple languages


  • Media release: Community urged to vaccinate as flu season begins in NSW (20 April 2023)

In English:

  • Influenza resources in community languages

News social media tile in 62 languages – Influenza is serious (see attached English version)


  • Media release: Priority groups urged to book in for free influenza vaccine (11 April 2023)

In English and multiple languages:

  • Flu Season is here social media tiles (Facebook and Instagram)

COVID-19 and public health information:


 Media release: NSW to transition away from COVID PCR testing (19 April 2023)


  • Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccination:

The Australian Government is providing COVID-19 vaccines to everyone living in Australia. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 vaccination and how vaccines are tested and approved.

  • Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 antiviral medicines:

  • COVID-19 NSW Health webpage

  • COVID-19 NSW Health webpage with resources for multicultural communities

  • COVID-19 NSW Health webpage: COVID-19 resource language list

Transcultural Mental Health Line

  • Transcultural Mental Health Line (TMHL) 1800 648 911

Health Direct


  • If you have a hearing or speech impairment, call the National Relay Serviceon 1800 555 677 and ask to be transferred to healthdirect.
  • If English is not your main language and you need an interpreter, call TIS Nationalon 131 450 and ask to be transferred to healthdirect.
  • If you need health information and advice in your language, you can call healthdirect Multicultural Health Connecton 1800 186 815, 11 am – 7 pm AEDT, Monday – Friday


Recommended For You

About the Author: Tribune