2023 free flu vaccine criteria

Lots of people in 2023 are eligible for free flu immunisation.

Last updated: 6 March 2023

In 2023, flu vaccines are free for:

  • children aged 6 months to 12 years old
  • pregnant people
  • Māori and Pacific people over 55
  • people aged 65 and over
  • people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and serious asthma
  • people with significant mental illness such as schizophrenia or those currently accessing mental health services.

Children aged 6 months to 12 years old

In 2023, all tamariki aged 6 months to 12 years old can have a free flu vaccine.

Tamariki are at a higher risk of catching the flu and of passing it on to others, particularly other members of their whānau who may be older or have underlying health issues.

If you have a child under 9 years old, talk to your vaccinator about whether they may need 1 or 2 vaccinations (4 weeks apart) depending on if they’ve had a flu vaccine before.

Flu vaccines are available from your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider. Children from 3 years old can can get flu immunisations at many pharmacies.

Pregnant people

If you catch the flu when you’re pregnant, there’s a high risk you could develop serious complications that can affect you and your baby. Complications include:

  • premature birth
  • low birthweight
  • miscarriage or stillbirth.

You can get a free flu vaccination at any stage of your pregnancy.

The flu vaccine and pregnancy

Everyone over 65, and Māori and Pacific people over 55

As you get older your immune system isn’t as good at protecting you, even if you feel fit and healthy. That’s why it’s important to boost your protection with a flu jab. 

Everyone over 65 can have a free annual flu vaccine. In 2023, if you're Māori or Pasifika, you can have a free flu vaccine if you're over 55.

Free flu jabs: Māori or Pasifika aged 55+

People with underlying health conditions

Free flu jabs are free for people aged 6 months and over with any of the following conditions:  

  • Cerebrovascular disease 
  • Chronic heart problems, excluding high cholesterol or high blood pressure, if they haven’t caused problems with other organs 
  • Chronic breathing or lung problems, including asthma where regular preventative medicine has been prescribed 
  • Diabetes 
  • Chronic kidney disease 
  • Cancer that’s not in remission, excluding skin cancers if not invasive 
  • Other conditions such as autoimmune disease, immune suppression, immune deficiency, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), transplant recipients, neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases, cochlear implant, error of metabolism at risk of major metabolic decompensation, pre- or post-splenectomy, Down syndrome, haemoglobinopathies and children on long term aspirin. 

People with serious mental health or addiction needs

People with these needs are at a higher risk of catching the flu and of getting very sick.

Anyone with schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or anyone currently accessing secondary or tertiary mental health and addiction services, can get a free flu jab.

If you’re not eligible for a free flu jab 

If you’re not eligible for a free flu jab, and not covered by an employer-funded programme, it costs between $25 and $45 depending on the vaccine and provider.  

Contact your doctor or local pharmacy to find out how much they charge and when you can book. 


In this section

Back to top