Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
There’s no vaccine for COVID-19 and the influenza vaccine doesn’t help COVID-19 so there is no cross reaction there but it is important that influenza immunisation happens. And for those who are eligible pneumococcal vaccine that’s against bacterial pneumonia, there are eligible populations for that.
You can go to the National Immunisation Schedule to find out if you would be eligible for that or if you are willing to pay for it you can have it, because that prevents you getting either the complications or the disease in the first place. You don’t want to get influenza at the same time as COVID-19 and you certainly don’t want to get bacterial pneumonia.
So you’ve got to be fully immunised against everything you can be, so you are as fit and well as possible. There are amazing vaccine technologies now which are being put into place to develop, and they are already starting to go into trial in animals for safety, then humans for safety, and then we will have to do large randomised trials.
So it’s possible that within a year or so there will be a vaccine but it’s not going to help you in 2020.
Last Reviewed: 16/03/2020
In 2020, all Australians should get a flu vaccine as early as possible, as the COVID-19 pandemic converges on our flu season.
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Vaccinations for older people
Older people should be vaccinated against influenza, pneumococcal disease and shingles - 3 common but potentially dangerous diseases. Tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough boosters are also recommended.
Meningitis in children
Meningitis means inflammation of the meninges - the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.