During and following this COVID-19 Omicron outbreak, influenza vaccination is more important than ever. As our borders re-open after two years, flu immunity levels are likely to be low. Respiratory viruses such as flu will be more common and their effects more severe this winter.
Immunisation is the best way to protect our communities from infection and serious illness.
Flu vaccinations are available now through most GPs and many pharmacies – we recommend you call your general practice first to check availability and to make an appointment.
If you can’t commit to a specific time, you can pop into a community pharmacy and ask if they are doing flu vaccinations. If you think you are eligible to have yours free, check with the pharmacy first as they cannot do people who are eligible due to a health condition.
This year the Influenza Immunisation Programme 2022 aims to reach hapū māmā, Māori, Pacific, and Asian people, who in the past have been less likely to receive an influenza vaccination. This is we are taking a whānau-centred approach this year, and the eligibility age for a free vaccination has also been reduced to 55 years old for Māori and Pacific peoples.
Free influenza vaccinations are available for those who meet these eligibility criteria:
If you aren’t eligible for a free vaccination, it’s still really important that you get vaccinated. The cost is typically $35-60, but this investment could help you avoid a miserable time with flu, prevent sickness working its way through your family, and possibly having to take unpaid time off work.
You can get more information about the vaccine on the following webpages:
Health professionals can find information here: www.influenza.org.nz
Page last updated: 19 July 2022
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