You could come in contact with influenza at anytime
Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with influenza each year. Many people won’t feel sick at all, but can still pass it on to others. Influenza can be anywhere. Contact with the influenza virus is almost unavoidable, and while contact does not necessarily mean infection, it does mean that you are never far from the possibility of catching influenza.
Influenza vaccine supply issue
The number of influenza vaccines that have been distributed in 2019 so far has almost reached the total for all of last winter when 1.3 million doses were distributed.
It is unlikely that more influenza vaccine supplies can be obtained as demand for the influenza vaccine is an international issue. There is no surplus stock available for us to source from Australia as they also have experienced very high demand this year.
High uptake of influenza immunisation means most people will have already been immunised this year. Any remaining influenza vaccine is available for those eligible for funded vaccine. If you or your family are eligible for the funded influenza vaccine, contact your family doctor. Eligible groups are:
- 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.
It is still important for those who have been immunised as well as those who have not to reduce the risk of spreading influenza:
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
- Wash and dry your hands often.
- Stay away from others if you are sick.
Click on the link to open the Flu can be anywhere brochure.
A general flu inflormation leaflet is available in the languages below:
- Chinese, simplified
- Cook Island Māori
Influenza immunisation is FREE for people who are most at risk
Almost everyone can benefit from the protection of annual influenza immunisation.
The vaccine is especially important for people at risk of serious complications from influenza including people with any of the conditions listed in the table below:
Funded influenza vaccine criteria as set by PHARMAC:
1. People 65 years of age and over; or
2. People under 65 years of age who
3. Children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness;
4. Please note: From 1 April 2019, PHARMAC removed the influenza vaccine eligibility criteria for people under 18 years of age living in Seddon, Kaikoura and Hurunui areas.
Unless meeting the criteria set out above, the following conditions are excluded from funding:
Also refer to the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule on the PHARMAC website.
|a. Chronic respiratory diseases may include: chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema.
b. Autoimmune diseases may include: coeliac disease, Crohns disease, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis: Immune suppression or immune deficiency includes diseases modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) or targeted biologic therapies.
c. Neuromuscular and CNS diseases/disorders include: celebral palsy, congenital myopathy, epilepsy, hydrocephaly, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury.
d. Haemoglobinopathies including: sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia.
If you do not have one of these eligible conditions, you still benefit from an influenza immunisation.
Ready to get immunised? Find a healthcare professional near you.