Getting a flu jab

Flu vaccines are free for those people who are most likely to get very sick. Anyone over 6 months can have a flu vaccine.

Last updated: 6 April 2022

On this page:


Who flu jabs are free for

Yearly flu vaccinations are free for: 

  • pregnant people 
  • people aged 65 years and over 
  • Māori and Pacific people aged 55 years and over 
  • people who have a long-term medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition (ages 6 months+)
  • children 4 years old or younger who have been in hospital with respiratory illness such as asthma.  

If you’re eligible for a free flu shot, contact your GP or healthcare provider to make a booking. 

Full detail on the eligibility criteria for a free flu jab – IMAC (Immunisation Advisory Centre)

Find a flu jab site near you


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


How many flu jabs you need 

Most people, aged 9 years and over, need one vaccination each year to get good protection against flu.  

If you have a child under 9-years-old, talk to you healthcare provider as they may need one of two vaccinations depending on if they’ve had a flu vaccine before. 


When to get a flu jab 

For the best protection get a flu jab before winter. April and May are ideal months to get a flu vaccine. 

Winter is when the most flu is in our communities, and it takes around 2 weeks after your flu vaccination to be best protected.  

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination at the same time as the free flu jab 

You can have a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time as your free flu vaccine. There’s no need to leave a gap between these vaccines.  

Being up-to-date with all your vaccinations gives your the best possible protection. You will need to check the vaccination site is able to administer both before you arrive.

When you shouldn't get a flu jab 

You should delay a flu vaccine if you're feeling unwell. 

If you’ve recently had COVID-19 you can have a flu jab as soon as you’ve recovered.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you've had COVID-19

It's also important to talk to your health professional before getting the vaccine if you:  

  • have had Guillain-Barre syndrome 
  • are having cancer treatments 
  • have had an allergic reaction to a vaccination before. 

What to expect when you get your flu vaccine 

If your appointment is at your GP or healthcare provider, a nurse will most likely give you the vaccine. Many local pharmacists also give flu jab to people aged 13 and older.  

After your vaccination, you may be asked to wait for up to 20 minutes so that treatment can be given quickly if a very rare, severe allergic reaction occurs. Many people aged 13 years and older will only need to wait 5 minutes. Children under 13 years will need to wait 20 minutes. 

Avoid driving, cycling, or using any other mobility device for 20 minutes after your vaccination. 

Side effects of the flu vaccine

Egg allergies

The types of flu vaccine given in 2022 can be given to people with egg allergies.  

Studies have shown that flu vaccines containing one microgram or less of ovalbumin don’t trigger anaphylaxis in sensitive people. The residual ovalbumin in one dose of the flu vaccine is below this limit.

Latex allergies

None of the flu vaccines used in 2022 have come into contact with any latex materials, and the syringes do not have any components made using natural rubber latex.  

If you’re highly sensitive to latex, or have had a severe allergic reaction to latex, tell your healthcare provider before getting the flu vaccine. 

 

Back to top