Free influenza vaccine in May and June 2023 program

From 1 May to 30 June 2023, the Western Australian Department of Health is offering reimbursement to registered General Practices, community pharmacies, and Aboriginal Medical Services for eligible influenza vaccine doses administered under the Free Influenza Vaccine in May and June 2023 Program. One-off grants may be available to immunisation providers maximising their capacity to deliver influenza vaccines across WA during May and June 2023.

Immunisation providers are reminded to provide government-funded vaccines for eligible individuals as listed on the WA Immunisation Schedule.

Participating providers are to use privately purchased influenza vaccines for persons not otherwise eligible to receive a government-funded influenza vaccine, including interstate/international visitors and those without a Medicare card, and may submit a claim for reimbursement.

WA Department of Health will only be supplying influenza vaccines for vaccination of persons who are already eligible for the below programs:

  • WA Health Primary school program
  • WA Health vulnerable cohorts: persons experiencing homelessness and residents in congregate living
  • National Immunisation Program.

Although billing practices remain at the discretion of individual immunisation providers, it is expected that a consultation directly related to the vaccine administration under this program does not result in a cost to the patient.

GP and AMS registration for the reimbursement program must be completed before 5.00 pm 16 June 2023. Pharmacy registration via the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (WA Branch)  is now closed

Refer to:

Reimbursement information

General Practice

Invitations to register were sent to general practices with a Onelink account email addresses during May 2023. Registration for May reimbursements will close 5.00 pm 31 May 2023. All general practices wishing to participate in the June program will need to register by 16 June 2023. If you do not have a Onelink account, email influenza.reimbursement@health.wa.gov.au.

The WA Department of Health will manage payments to registered general practice, provided as three separate payment options:

  1. Reimbursement of $15 per privately purchased vaccines administered to eligible persons between 1 May to 31 May 2023
  2. Reimbursement of $15 per privately purchased vaccines administered to eligible persons between 1 June to 30 June 2023, and
  3. One-off grant payment of $2000 to support practices resourcing additional clinics and promotion of the May or June program. NOTE: The grant payment is subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and is only applicable if also applying for reimbursement of vaccine administrations and will be only paid once.

Claim submissions is accessible via two separate REDCap portals:

  • one for May vaccinations, and
  • one for June vaccinations.

The one-off grant may be claimed using either portal, but not for both. Duplicate grant claims will be rejected. Providers only registered for the June program cannot claim for May reimbursements.

To access reimbursement payments, participating general practices will need to:

  • Register for the May program before 5.00 pm Wednesday 31 May 2023. If you do not have a Onelink account, email influenza.reimbursement@health.wa.gov.au to request a registration link. Providers registered for the May program will automatically be registered for the June program.
    or
  • Register for the June program before 5.00 pm Friday 16 June 2023. If you do not have a Onelink account, email influenza.reimbursement@health.wa.gov.au to request a registration link.
  • Submit the following evidence via the REDCap portal before 5.00 pm Friday 28 July 2023.
    • Upload invoice of influenza vaccines privately purchased for the 2023 season, indicating quantity and brand of vaccine; and
    • Report the number of privately purchased influenza vaccines administered during the month of claim (May or June 2023).

Note: Records of influenza vaccines administered during the month of May and June using privately purchased stock must be maintained by the provider in the event of a WA Department of Health audit. Records must include age of recipient, brand of vaccine, date of vaccine administration, and Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) provider number (either individual or practice provider number is acceptable).

To apply for a grant payment, practices must demonstrate the following eligibility criteria:

  • Achieved vaccination target (NIP and non-NIP eligible persons) during the month of claim (May or June) 2023:
    • metropolitan practices: minimum of 50 influenza vaccinations
    • regional practices: minimum of 20 influenza vaccinations
    • evidence for each vaccine administered as described above
    And
  • Have undertaken at least two additional activities during the month of claim (May or June) to support and promote the program, such as:
    • extra clinic hours
    • extra staffing requirements (e.g. rostering additional staff and/or immunisers)
    • offering online appointment bookings
    • sending reminder (via SMS, phone or email) to patients to book their influenza vaccination
    • promotion of the program via website, social media, or promotional materials displayed at clinic
    • offering opportunistic vaccination.

General practices who register by 31 May 2023 will be sent an email in early June with instructions on how to claim reimbursements for vaccinations administered during May. Claims must be submitted before 5.00 pm Friday 28 July 2023. 

A second email will be sent early July with instructions on how to claim reimbursements for vaccinations administered during June. Claims must be submitted before 5pm Friday 28 July 2023. Practices will be able to claim the grant as part of June reimbursement (if not already claimed for May) if they meet eligibility criteria.

General practices who register after 31 May but by 16 June 2023 will be sent an email in early July with instructions on how to claim reimbursements for vaccinations administered during June. Claims must be submitted before 5.00 pm Friday 28 July 2023. Practices will be able to claim the grant if they meet eligibility criteria.

Any reimbursement claims or grant applications are subject to review, and the WA Department of Health reserves the right to investigate and reject any claims for reimbursement or grant applications.

Community pharmacy

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (WA Branch) (PGAWA) is acting as the Payment Administrator on behalf of the WA Department of Health. To register for reimbursements, please email freeflu@wa.guild.org.au directly.

Reimbursement for community pharmacies:

  • Person eligible to receive a government-funded vaccine (NIP/State program stock): Payment of $20 plus GST – Government NIP stock can be ordered via the Onelink portal (external site)
  • Person ineligible to receive a government-funded vaccine (Private Stock): Payment of $29 plus GST
  • Co-payments cannot be charged for any vaccination administered under this program.
  • Community Pharmacy providers may claim for administration of government-funded influenza vaccinations and influenza vaccinations using privately purchased vaccines in the month of May and June via the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (WA Branch).
  • Pharmacies may not submit a claim for additional reimbursement from the Department if already claiming reimbursement for influenza vaccination via another program, such as private health fund vouchers or corporate flu vaccination services.

Please visit Pharmacy Guild of Australia (WA Branch) (external site) for more information.

The WA Department of Health may audit any participating pharmacy to reconcile amounts paid with the individual pharmacy administration records or any other means they deem appropriate and lawful. Participating pharmacies may be required to reimburse the Department for any overpayments made if it is evident that a participating pharmacy has over-reported the number of vaccinations provided in the month by more than five records and been over-paid by the PGAWA accordingly.

Aboriginal Medical Services

The WA Department of Health will manage payments to AMSs. AMSs can register for the following reimbursement options:

  1. Reimbursement of administration only ($15 per privately purchased vaccines administered to non-NIP eligible persons between 1 May to 31 May 2023);

    OR

  2. Reimbursement of administration only ($15 per privately purchased vaccines administered to non-NIP eligible persons between 1 June to 30 June 2023)

    OR

  3. Grant payment only ($2000 to support services resourcing additional clinics and promotion of the May or June program);

    OR

  4. Both the administration reimbursements and one-off grant. 

To be eligible for reimbursements and the one-off grant payment, AMS clinics will need to:

  • Register for the May program before 5.00 pm Wednesday 31 May 2023. If you do not have a Onelink account, email influenza.reimbursement@health.wa.gov.au to request a registration link. Providers registered for the May program will automatically be registered for the June program.
    or
  • Register for the June program before 5.00 pm Friday 16 June 2023. If you do not have a Onelink account, email influenza.reimbursement@health.wa.gov.au to request a registration link.
  • Submit the following evidence via the REDCap portal before 5.00 pm Friday 28 July 2023.

Claims require the same evidence and follow the same process as outlined for general practice above.

AMSs who register by 31 May 2023 will be sent an email in early June with instructions on how to claim reimbursements for vaccinations administered during May. Claims must be submitted before 5pm Friday 28 July 2023. A second email will be sent early July with instructions on how to claim reimbursements for vaccinations administered during June. Claims must be submitted before 5pm Friday 28 July 2023. Practices will be able to claim the grant as part of June reimbursement (if not already claimed for May) if they meet eligibility criteria.

AMSs who register after 31 May but by 16 June 2023 will be sent an email in early July with instructions on how to claim reimbursements for vaccinations administered during June. Claims must be submitted before 5pm Friday 28 July 2023. Practices will be able to claim the grant if they meet eligibility criteria.

Any reimbursement claims or grant applications are subject to review, and the WA Department of Health reserves the right to investigate and reject any claims for reimbursement or grant applications.

Frequently asked questions about the May and June 2023 Program

Who can access a free influenza vaccination during May and June?

Everyone in WA over the age of six months are eligible to receive a free influenza vaccine from 1 May to 30 June 2023.

Can private stock of influenza vaccines be used for NIP patients and vice versa?

No. Government-funded (NIP and State program) stock can only be used for eligible persons, in accordance with the current WA Immunisation Schedule. Private stock should be used for those not eligible for NIP or WA state-funded influenza vaccine.

Do people have to be a WA resident to qualify to receive a free vaccine in May and June?

No, this program is available to everyone in WA including interstate or international visitors.

Are non-Medicare card holders able to access a free vaccine in May and June?

Yes. Everyone over the age of six months can access a free influenza vaccine, including those who do not have a Medicare card.

My service provides private immunisation services but is not a general practice, community pharmacy or AMS.  Can I seek reimbursement for administering influenza vaccines in May and June?

No. The reimbursement program is available to registered general practices, community pharmacies and Aboriginal Medical Services only.

I work in an eligible practice setting (GP, AMS or community pharmacy) and operate off-site influenza clinics (such as staff vaccination clinics). Can I seek reimbursement for these?

No. The program is intended to provide reimbursement for individuals who would be otherwise ineligible to receive a free influenza vaccine through a workplace, health fund or similar arrangement.


More information

Email: influenza.reimbursement@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 02-06-2023