Even if your child is usually healthy, influenza can make them very unwell. Influenza can lead to serious conditions like severe lung infections (pneumonia) or swelling in the brain (encephalitis).
Babies and children under five years are more likely to get severe influenza. They are more likely than adults and older children to need treatment in hospital.2
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children who have health conditions (like asthma or a heart defect they were born with) are more likely to get so sick from influenza that they need treatment in hospital.
Very rarely, children can die from influenza. One study found between two and four children in every one million die from influenza.3 Because this number is hard to calculate accurately, the true number is likely higher.
As well as protecting your child from getting sick, influenza vaccination helps protect the people around you and your child. If you don’t catch influenza, you can’t spread influenza. This community protection is especially important for vulnerable people who can’t get the vaccine, like young babies (less than 6 months old) and people with low immunity.