The flu season is almost upon us and it is as important as ever to take extra precautions as we head into winter. Understanding how to protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season will make a difference in staying as healthy as possible.

Why should I get a flu vaccine?

Although the flu vaccine will not completely eliminate your risk of developing the flu, it will help to reduce your risk of developing a severe infection and requiring hospitalisation. It is therefore a good precautionary measure to take.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

All members should consider vaccination, especially the following high-risk groups:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Individuals over 65 years of age
  • Individual with cardiovascular disease, including chronic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, chronic renal disease and chronic lung disease (including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Pregnant women
  • People living with HIV/AIDS.

Please note: Consent is required from a parent, guardian or caregiver for vaccination of children.

Who should avoid getting the flu vaccine?

The vaccine is not recommended for the following people:

  • Individuals who are allergic to eggs or egg proteins as the manufacturing process for the vaccine involves the use of chicken eggs
  • Infants under 6 months of age as the vaccines are not licensed for use in such young children
  • Individuals who may have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past - if you are unsure discuss with your healthcare provider
  • Individuals who may be suffering from flu symptoms already.

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects are mild pain, redness and or swelling of the skin at the site of injection. Other possible side effects include muscle and joint pain, fever, headaches.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Visit (accessible using Google Chrome) to find a Bonitas network pharmacy or network healthcare provider near you.

If you have decided that you wish to go for a flu vaccination, we recommend the following:

  • Call ahead to confirm whether your pharmacy or healthcare provider has stock available
  • Schedule an appointment when possible to reduce your waiting time.

The flu vaccines available this season are:

Nappi Code Description

Will Bonitas cover the vaccine?

Bonitas pays for one flu vaccine per beneficiary per annum from the Preventative Care Benefit on all options up to Scheme Rates.

Can I get the flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine/COVID-19 booster vaccine?

As per the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Circular 3 of 2022, COVID-19 vaccines may be co-administered with other vaccines. This may be at the same visit, or at another visit without regard to timing. It is recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to the left arm and the additional vaccine be administered to the right arm, noting the arm of administration on the vaccination record, where possible.

If you've had COVID-19, it's also safe to have the flu vaccine.

Should you have any concerns or questions about getting the vaccine, kindly discuss with your doctor.