What is the new influenza vaccine from the Northern Hemisphere?
The Ministry of Health and Pharmac have secured 360,000 doses of Influvac Tetra (Saison 2019/2020) from the Northern Hemisphere. 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. This 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. The expert advice is clear that the protection provided by the Northern Hemisphere vaccine is still valuable and that is why we have purchased it so that even more New Zealanders can receive a flu vaccine this year.
Influenza levels are currently low in New Zealand and the circulating strains are the ones included in the Influvac Tetra (Saison 2019/2020) vaccine. The COVID-19 social distancing we are practicing and overseas travel restrictions are likely to reduce spread of influenza too.