Promoting and supporting influenza immunisation

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

2019 Flu Kit

Distribution of this year’s Flu Kit to immunisation providers began on 20 March 2019. If you have not received a Flu Kit, please contact us by email at influenza@auckland.ac.nzPlease DON'T contact our 0800 line about the Flu Kit, we are extremely busy with clinical calls during this period. 

 Click here to download the electronic version of the Flu Kit Booklet 2019 updated 11 April 2019

Please note: An erratum has been published for the Flu Kit Booklet 2019. To view the erratum please click here.

2019 Influenza Immunisation Programme

Start date

From 2019, the annual Influenza Immunisation Programme will start from 1 April each year, subject to influenza vaccine being available for distribution from then. In previous years, the programme started as soon as the influenza vaccine became available, generally by early March. The change to a fixed start date of 1 April is intended to ensure that the vaccine remains as effective as possible during the peak incidence of influenza, which in recent years has occurred in late winter.

For further information, refer to the  Ministry's policy statement on the annual Influenza Immunisation Programme start date.

When should people be vaccinated?

Now is the best time for people to be vacicnated against influenza, well before the start of the winter season.

Goals

  • Vaccinate 75% of the population aged 65 years or older against influenza annually
  • Improve influenza immunisation coverage for people aged under 65 years with certain medical conditions, and pregnant women
  • Improve influenza immunisation uptake for healthcare workers
  • 80% of healthcare workers are vaccinated against influenza annually
  • Distribute more than 1.2 million influenza vaccine doses annually, i.e. protect more than 25% of the community

Important Information

Resources

      
IMAC1812                     IMAC1703

Please order the following resources from HealthEd (www.healthed.govt.nz):

  • After your child is immunised (HE1504),
  • After your immunisation (HE2505) for teenagers and adults, and
  • Immunisation during pregnancy (HE2503).

           

These HealthEd resources replace the After your flu immunisation leaflet and Avoid flu during pregnancy brochure used in previous years. The National Immunisation Register leaflet (HE2423) for adults is also ordered from HealthEd www.healthed.govt.nz

The online Resources order form to request campaign specific resources is available on the Resources page.

Zostavax® and annual influenza vaccination

  • Annual influenza immunisation is recommended and funded for adults aged 65 years or over.
  • One Zostavax® is recommended for adults aged 65 years to under 80 years. This dose is also funded.
    • Zostavax® and influenza vaccine can be administered at the same visit.
    • Zostavax® is only given as a single dose – it IS NOT administered every year that an eligible adult receives their influenza vaccination.

Funded influenza vaccines for 2019:

INFLUVAC® TETRA (quadrivalent)

  • Claims for funded influenza vaccines given before 1 April will not be accepted.
  • Funded if administered to eligible adults and children aged 3 years or older, from 1 April through 31 December.

FLUARIX® TETRA (quadrivalent)

  • Orders can now be placed for FLUARIX® TETRA. Orders are restricted to five (5) doses.
  • Please reserve FLUARIX® TETRA for children aged 6–35 months of age.
  • Funded if administered to eligible children aged under 3 years, i.e. 6–35 months, from 1 April through 31 December.
  • FLUARIX® TETRA deliveries are expected to begin later in April 2019. Please do not book clinics for young children until you have the vaccine in your refrigerator.

 Click on the link to download the Influenza vaccine form for faxed or emailed orders.

The influenza strains included in the 2019 quadrivalent vaccines are the:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
  • A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

Influenza vaccination precaution

These are the only four cancer treatments in New Zealand when influenza vaccination may be contraindicated or need to be delayed: 

  • atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®),
  • ipilimumab (YERVOY®),
  • nivolumab (OPDIVO®
  • pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®)

The immune-stimulant actions of these treatments on the immune system increase a person’s risk of developing autoimmune conditions. It is not known whether receipt of an influenza vaccine whilst receiving these treatments or for up to six months after treatment increases a theoretical risk of triggering the occurrence of these side effects. Please contact the person’s oncologist or 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) for current advice about influenza vaccination for these people BEFORE administering the vaccine.