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A woman receiving her COVID-19 and flu vaccination from her doctor.

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

Your heart


COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

Getting a flu shot now will help in the fight against influenza.

What does the flu vaccine have to do with heart disease? 

Your risk of having a heart attack is six times higher in the week after a bout of the flu. Viruses like influenza ‘the flu’ can cause an inflammatory response in your body, placing strain on your heart; this could lead to heart failure or an abnormal heartbeat. The flu can also destabilise plaque in your blood vessels, and this can cause a blockage and possible heart attack.

The flu vaccine helps to prevent the flu and protect your heart.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic flu cases are on the rise, making it even more important to get the flu vaccine.

To help look after your heart, you should get the vaccine before the flu season starts to peak in June. 

How do I get my flu vaccine?  

People with heart disease, people 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are among those eligible to receive a free flu shot every year under the National Immunisation Program.

Note that your healthcare provider may charge a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment.

Call your doctor or pharmacist to book in your flu vaccine today.  

Visit the Department of Health website for more information on influenza vaccination

  1. Kwong JC, Schwartz KL, Campitelli MA, et al. Acute Myocardial Infarction after Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza Infection. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018;378(4):345-353. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1702090
  2. Madjid M, Aboshady I, Awan I, Litovsky S, Casscells SW. Influenza and cardiovascular disease: is there a causal relationship? Tex Heart Inst J. 2004;31(1):4-13.
  3. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Australian Influenza Surveillance Report. Accessed 19th Februrary, 2024.

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Last updated19 February 2024