Additional influenza vaccine stock - update

News article

06 July 2019

Updated 11 July 2019

The Ministry of Health and PHARMAC are pleased to advise that an additional 55,000 doses of influenza vaccine FluQuadri have arrived in New Zealand. This will enable providers to receive delivery from Friday 12 July onwards.

We would like to thank providers for their co-operation over the last month, which has enabled influenza vaccination to continue to those at greatest risk of the disease. While they continue to be our priority, the additional vaccines mean that other New Zealanders will be able to purchase the vaccine once the new stocks arrive.

FluQuadri was approved for use in patients aged 3 years and older by Medsafe on 3 July 2019. It has previously been used in New Zealand but this year had not completed the approval process until now. This has enabled it to be imported into New Zealand in response to higher than expected demand.

Orders for FluQuadri are now open through HCL (backorders can be placed). A minimum order of 20 doses and maximum order of 30 doses applies. FluQuadri is supplied with separate needles.

Please note that Fluarix Tetra continues to be the only vaccine approved for use in children aged under 3 years. The Ministry has been notified that the vaccine, Fluarix Tetra, is listed as XPharm in the Pharmaceutical Schedule and administration of this vaccine to pregnant women cannot be claimed for by community pharmacists. We are aware that this was not clear in our recent communication regarding the widening of the funding criteria of Fluarix Tetra to include pregnant women. We apologise for any confusion.

Influenza vaccination continues to be free for:

  • pregnant women
  • children aged 4 and under with serious respiratory illnesses
  • people with severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health conditions that make them more susceptible to influenza
  • those aged 65 and over.

As well as vaccination, it's also important to remember the other ways to help keep healthy during flu season. Washing hands, safe sneezing, and staying home if you're unwell are other ways we can reduce the spread of winter illnesses including flu. 

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