2018 Influenza season

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).

Influenza Immunisation Programme 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 District Health Board-based 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

2019 Influenza Immunisation Programme start date

From 2019, the Annual Influenza Immunisation Programme will have a fixed start date of 1 April. 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.

Important Information

Refund for unused/expired funded influenza vaccine

One refund will be available for a total of 10 doses of unused INFLUVAC® TETRA and/or one dose of unused FLUARIX® TETRA and/or 10 doses of unused INFLUVAC® from any one account. To be eligible for a refund, the unused stock must be returned prior to 31 January 2019. Please ensure you continue to have influenza vaccine stock available until 31 December for those who are eligible for influenza vaccination.

Contact Healthcare Logistics on 0508 425 358 to request a Return Authorisation.

INFLUVAC® (trivalent influenza vaccine) overview – *NEW* fact sheet 3 July 2018

2018 Vaccine order form – Updated 2 August 2018

Funded influenza vaccines for 2018:

INFLUVAC® TETRA (quadrivalent)
For adults and children aged 3 years or older. 

FLUARIX® TETRA (quadrivalent) *OUT OF STOCK*
For children aged under 3 years, i.e. 6–35 months. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: INFLUVAC® and INFLUVAC® TETRA packaging is very similar. Spot the package differences when you select influenza vaccine from the fridge and check the syringe label before you vaccinate.

INFLUVAC® dose for children aged under 3 years, i.e. 6–35 months, is a half dose of 0.25 mL

The three influenza strains included in both the trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines are:

•  A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09- like virus
•  A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
•  B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

The additional influenza strain included in the quadrivalent vaccines is:
•  B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

Minimum order requirements
The total influenza vaccine order must meet minimum quantities as follows:

March April May June July Aug-Dec
Min 60 doses Min 60 doses Min 60 doses Min 30 doses Min 20 doses Min 10 doses

New influenza vaccination precaution

Influenza vaccination may be contraindicated or need to be delayed for people receiving any of the following four new cancer treatments: 

  • atezolizumab (Tecentriq®),
  • ipilimumab (Yervoy®),
  • nivolumab (Opdivo®) 
  • pembrolizumab (Keytruda®)

These are the only four cancer treatements in New Zealand that require influenza vaccination to be delayed.

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.
(page 16 in the Flu kit)

Vaccine comparison chart – Updated 1 July 2018

References for 2018 Influenza Kit