Promoting and supporting influenza immunisation

This website and the national annual influenza promotional campaign is brought to you by The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC).

2021 Influenza Immunisation Programme

About the vaccines

AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR

  • For children aged under 3 years, i.e., 6–35 months.
  • Funded for children who met the influenza vaccination eligibility criteria.
    • Available for those who do not meet the funded eligibility criteria through general practitioners at a cost.
  • The AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR data sheet for 2021 is expected to become available on the MedSafe website in March.

AFLURIA® QUAD

  • For children and adults aged 3–64 years.
  • Funded for children and adults who met the influenza vaccination eligibility criteria.
    • Available for those who do not meet the funded eligibility criteria through private immunisation providers (general practitioners or pharmacists or occupational health) at a cost.
  • The AFLURIA® QUAD data sheet for 2021 is expected to become available on the MedSafe website in March.

FLUAD® QUAD

  • For adults aged 65 years or older
  • Funded for adults who are eligible to receive publicly funded healthcare serives.
    • PHARMAC is funding this additional vaccine brand, a vaccine specifically made for those aged 65 and over, to ensure this important group has certainty of supply as early as possible, and to ensure there is enough influenza vaccine to meet demand and supply is continuous.
  • Link to the FLUAD® QUAD data sheet on the MedSafe website.

Start date and prioritisation period

The programme start date is 14 April, with a two-week prioritisation period for those eligible for a funded vaccination.

  • For the first week of the prioritisation period, please focus on immunising adults aged 65 and over with FLUAD® QUAD.
  • For the second week of the prioritisation period, from 21 April, please extend this to include others eligible for a funded vaccination.
  • Vaccination can then be extended to include the general population from 28 April 2020.
  • The programme runs to 31 December 2021.
  • Refer to the table below for details.
Vaccine 14–20 April 2021 21–27 April 2021 28 April–31 December 2021
FLUAD® QUAD

Adults aged 65 and over.

Adults aged 65 and over. Adults aged 65 and over.
AFLURIA® QUAD   Eligible people aged under 65 years including health and other frontline# workers aged under 65 years. All people aged under 65 years – eligible and non-eligible.
AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR  

Eligible children aged
6-35 months.

All children aged
6-35 months – eligible and non-eligible.

#Frontline line workers are those who have direct contact with the general public through their employment.

  • The start dates are later than in previous years based on information about vaccine availability provided by supplier Seqirus.
  • It also takes into account the immunisation sector’s requirement for more reliable and consistent access to the influenza vaccine, particularly at the start of the programme when demand is highest.
  • The prioritisation period dates are based on our programme goals and the availability of FLUAD® QUAD, which is scheduled for distribution slightly earlier than AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR and AFLURIA® QUAD.
  • This provides an opportunity for vaccinators to immunise those over 65 ahead of the influenza season and ahead of the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available for this group.

Equity

The Māori Influenza Vaccination Programme is continuing in 2021 as part of the Ministry of Health' commitment to improving equity for Māori. The programme will begin on 14 April 2021 for kaumātua Māori aged 65 and over. 

Occupational health and healthcare workforces

As in previous years it is important healthcare and other frontline workers get immunised against influenza.

  • Occupational health services can immunise such workforces from 14 April 2021 if 65 and over, or 21 April 2021 if under 65 years of age.
  • Alternatively, healthcare and other frontline workers can get vaccinated from 28 April by their doctor or pharmacist (unless they are eligible for a funded immunisation, in which case they can get immunised from 14 April if aged 65 and over or 21 April if eligible under other criteria).

Funding for immunising health and disability care workers

The Ministry will be providing funding to support influenza vaccination for health and disability sector employees, self-employed lead maternity carers and carers employed under individualised funding arrangements who:

  • are not eligible for a funded vaccination under the eligibility criteria stated in the Pharmaceutical Schedule,
  • have patient/client contact,
  • have not previously been the recipient of an employer-funded influenza vaccination whilst in their current place of employment (not including one reimbursed by the Ministry of Health in 2020).
  • Further information on how to claim will be available on the Ministry of Health website.

Ordering influenza vaccines (to be advised)

The Ministry of Health will advise when advance influenza vaccine orders can be placed.

Ordering needles for influenza vaccines

The AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR, AFLURIA® QUAD and FLUAD® QUAD vaccines for 2021 will be supplied without needles.

  • Seqirus has ordered adequate supplies of needles to support the influenza immunisation programme.
  • Needles will be able to be purchased separately from EBOS or pharmacy wholesalers.
  • The needles will be available to order from 15 March and will be distributed in the lead up to the programme start date.
  • There will be two different needles for AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR, AFLURIA® QUAD and FLUAD® QUAD.
    • The pharmacodes for each will be supplied at the same time as the ordering details.

Quadrivalent influenza vaccines

The 2021 vaccines will be quadrivalent influenza vaccines that contain the following four influenza strains, the first two strains are new to the 2021 vaccine:

  • A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Washington/02/2019-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

Resources

  • Influenza Immunisation Programme packs will be posted out in time for start of the 2021 Programme.
  • Programme specific resources will be available for ordering and delivery in time for the start of the 2021 Programme
  • HealthEd resources can be ordered from www.healthed.govt.nz:
    • After your child is immunised  HE1504 
    • After your immunisation HE2505
    • Immunise during pregnancy HE2503
    • Immunisation for older people HE2540
    • The National Immunisation Register HE2423

2020 Influenza Immunisation Programme

Refunds for unused/expired funded influenza vaccine

Non-funded influenza vaccine

  • All Northern hemisphere INFLUVAC® TETRA (SAISON 2019/2020) vaccine stock expired on 31 August 2020.
  • A refund will be available for up to a total of 10 doses of unused/expired INFLUVAC® TETRA (SAISON 2019/2020).
  • To be eligible for a refund, providers must contact Healthcare Logistics on 0508 425 358 to request a Return Authorisation between 1–30 September 2020 and return the unused stock as advised by HCL. 

Funded influenza vaccines

  • Please ensure you continue to have influenza vaccine stock available until 31 December for those who are eligible for influenza vaccination.
  • One refund will be available for up to a total of 10 doses of unused AFLURIA® QUAD and/or ten doses of INFLUVAC® TETRA 2020 (Southern hemisphere formulation) and/or one dose of unused AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR. 
  • To be eligible for a refund, providers must contact Healthcare Logistics on 0508 425 358 to request a Return Authorisation between 1–31 January 2021 and return the unused stock by mid-February 2021.