Influenza is a significant public health issue in New Zealand. Each year it has a large impact on our community, with 10-20% of New Zealanders infected.
Some of these people become so ill they need hospital care, and a small number die.
Influenza also has a financial impact, particularly in workplaces, and can potentially overwhelm both primary care and hospital services during winter epidemics.
For consumer information relating to influenza, see the Influenza page in the Your Health section.
Annual Influenza Immunisation Programme
Detailed information on the annual influenza immunisation programme, including who is eligible for free immunisation, is available through the National Influenza Specialist Group. For information for health professionals, see www.influenza.org.nz. Information for patients is available at www.fightflu.co.nz.
Start date for eligible patients and health care workers 18 March 2020
As part of the Ministry of Health's preparation for the potential impact of COVID-19 on the health sector, the 2020 influenza immunisation programme began early, from 18 March, for eligible patients only, as they are at greatest risk of serious illness from influenza. Influenza vaccines for eligible children aged 6 months to 35 months was available from 1 April 2020.
Health care and emergency response workers were also able to be vaccinated from 18 March, as are other essential workers from 22 April. This is not funded, but is often paid for by employers either through a workplace vaccination programme or vouchers.
Pharmacist vaccinators are now able to administer and claim for funded vaccination for eligible people aged 13 and over.
From 27 April 2020, privately funded vaccination became available.
Northern hemisphere vaccine available to order from 22 May 2020
In addition to the 1.768 million doses of Southern Hemisphere vaccines, the Ministry of Health and Pharmac have successfully secured a further 360,000 doses of influenza vaccine from the Northern Hemisphere.
These have arrived in New Zealand and will be ready for providers to order from 22 May.
The vaccine is approved for use among healthy people aged 3 to 64 and will be available to purchase through general practices, pharmacies and occupational health services.
The Influvac Tetra (Saison 19/20) Northern Hemisphere vaccine contains two of the same strains of influenza vaccine as the usual vaccines used in New Zealand this year, and one that is closely related.
Because of the way influenza changes as it circulates around the world, the fourth strain in the Northern Hemisphere is not a close match for the equivalent strain in the Southern Hemisphere. For more information see: Influvac Tetra (Saison 2019/2020) influenza vaccine approved for limited use in New Zealand.
The Annual Influenza Immunisation Programme usually begins on 1 April, to ensure that the vaccine remained as effective as possible during the peak incidence of influenza, which in recent years has occurred in late winter. For further information, see the Ministry's policy statement on the Annual Influenza Immunisation Programme Start Date.
|DHB||Balance (total distribution minus NIR)||Vaccines administered (NIR data) to 8 May 2020||Coverage 65+% (NIR data, target 75%)|
|Bay of Plenty||26,679||55,518||71%|
|Capital and Coast||60,243||62,481||64%|
Note: Balance may include some vaccines already administered but not recorded on the National Immunisation Register. It also includes stock held in local warehouses, pharmacies, general practices as well as at the individual DHB.
Pandemic planning and response
Ministry of Health pandemic planning and response.
Influenza information and advice from the Ministry is provided in the YourHealth consumer section.
Workforce Influenza Immunisation Coverage Rates by District Health Boards
- 2019 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Board (Word, 1.12 MB) (PDF, 935 KB)
- 2018 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Boards (Word, 147 KB)
- 2017 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Boards (Word, 173 KB)
- 2016 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Boards (Word, 2 MB )updated 30 November 2016
- 2015 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Boards (Word, 3 MB) updated December 2015
- 2014 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Boards (Word, 6.85 MB) (update: 22 May 2015)
- 2013 Workforce Influenza Immunisation Rates by District Health Board (Word, 116 KB) (update: 16 October 2013)
- 2012 Workforce Immunisation Rates by District Health Board (pdf, 176 KB) (update: 20 November 2012)