Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Winter Preparedness for Health Professionals

This winter, health professionals need to be prepared for both influenza and COVID-19. This information is current for 2023.

General practice

The winter influenza season has arrived and the role of general practice is critical. Gippsland PHN is here to support you and your practice as you prepare for flu season, while continuing to respond to outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Victorian Department of Health started the distribution of National Immunisation Program influenza vaccines to immunisation providers on the 17 March 2023.

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the groups at higher risk of complications from influenza, detailed in the 2023 Influenza vaccination – Program advice for vaccination providers.

Key priorities for 2023

Improve uptake in National Immunisation Program (NIP) eligible people including:

  1. children aged 6 months to <5 years
  2. pregnant people
  3. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders
  4. people aged 65 years and above


Focus upon infants and young children aged 6 months to <5 years due to:

  1. the low rate of influenza vaccine uptake in 2022
  2. the clinical risks of contracting influenza for this age group

The department’s Seasonal Influenza vaccine webpage has been updated with links to clinical resources, an eLearning module and guidance to support immunisation providers with the requirements of the influenza program. Bookmark this page, which will be regularly updated throughout the season.

The department also provides updates via the Immunisation newsletter: Subscribe to alerts, advisories and newsletters |

The Australian Department of Health has developed resources and information for immunisation providers and consumers: Getting vaccinated against influenza – Resource collection | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

Influenza (flu) – immunisation – Better Health Channel also provides up to date influenza vaccination information for consumers.

During this season, the department will be conducting data surveillance of encounters reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to identify and respond to provision of Influenza vaccine against registration/indication for age.

Providers are encouraged to report adverse events following immunisation(AEFI) and vaccine errors to SAFEVIC (the Surveillance of adverse events following vaccination in the community) for assessment and expert advice.

Gippsland PHN - Digital Health Toolbox

To support general practices in Gippsland to prepare for the likely increase in influenza and COVID-19 cases, Gippsland PHN offers a range of digital health tools and resources that can help general practices establish workflows that benefit patients and practices and help keep patients safe and well.

Gippsland PHN resources:

Gippsland HealthPathways

Our Gippsland HealthPathways team works to ensure GPs and other health professionals can quickly access the latest influenza information at the point of care.

Relevant pages include:

For further support, please also see the pathway suites for:

Access to Gippsland HealthPathways is limited to health professionals within Gippsland. For more information, email

RACGP Winter Toolkit

As we enter the cooler months, it is important for your practice to consider and implement winter preparedness activities to ensure the health and safety of your patients and practice team.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has prepared the Winter Planning Toolkit highlights key priorities and principles of:

  • infection prevention and control
  • workforce protection and planning
  • processes for patient management
  • managing the risk of cross infection
  • health and wellbeing of staff

Access the kit here

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