Eligibility criteria

The 2020 funded Influenza Immunisation Programme runs from 18 March through 31 December in 2020

  • Purchased influenza vaccination became available for the general public who are aged 3 years or older from Monday 27 April.
  • Important: Influenza vaccination for children aged 6–35 months (AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR) is currently available for children with a condition eligible to receive funded influenza vaccination.

Eligibility criteria for FREE seasonal influenza vaccination for 2020:

  • Pregnant women (any trimester)

  • People aged 65 years and older

  • People aged under 65 years with any of the medical conditions listed below

  • Children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness

List of eligible conditions for funded influenza vaccine

Funded influenza vaccine is available each year for people who meet the following criteria set by PHARMAC:

1. People 65 years of age or older; or

2. People under 65 years of age who:

  • have any of the following cardiovascular diseases:
    • ischaemic heart disease, or
    • congestive heart failure, or
    • rheumatic heart disease, or
    • congenital heart disease, or
    • cerebrovascular disease; or
  • have either of the following chronic respiratory diseases:
    • asthma, if on a regular preventative therapy, or
    • other chronic respiratory disease with impaired lung function;a or
  • have diabetes; or
  • have chronic renal disease; or
  • have any cancer, refer to the vaccine precaution below#, excluding basal and squamous skin cancers if not invasive; or
  • have any of the following other conditions:
    • autoimmune disease,b or
    • immune suppression or immune deficiency, or
    • HIV, or
    • transplant recipient, or
    • neuromuscular or CNS disease/disorder,c or
    • haemoglobinopathy,d or
    • children on long-term aspirin, or
    • a cochlear implant, or
    • error of metabolism at risk of major metabolic decompensation, or
    • pre- or post-splenectomy, or
    • Down syndrome, or
  • pregnant women (any trimester); or

3. Children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness, including:

  • Children aged 6–59 months (under 5 years) who have been hospitalised with measles.

Unless meeting the criteria set out above, the following conditions are excluded from funding:

  • asthma not requiring regular preventative therapy, or
    • PHARMAC has confirmed that people with a respiratory condition that is prescribed a preventer inhaler meet the eligibility criteria for a funded influenza vaccination regardless of whether or not they routinely collect the inhaler, i.e. are adherent with treatment. They acknowledge that there may be barriers resulting in some people with respiratory conditions not collecting their preventer inhaler but that this does not affect their eligibility to receive a funded influenza vaccine.

  • hypertension and/or dyslipidaemia without evidence of end-organ disease.

Also refer to the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule on the PHARMAC website www.pharmac.govt.nz/tools-resources/pharmaceutical-schedule/community




#Influenza vaccination precaution
Influenza vaccination may be contraindicated or need to be delayed for people receiving some new cancer treatments. Please read the information under Contraindications and precautions to receiving influenza vaccine on page 16 of the Flu Kit Booklet 2020 for people receiving atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®), ipilimumab (YERVOY®), nivolumab (OPDIVO®) and pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) and contact the person’s oncologist or 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) for current advice about influenza vaccination for these people BEFORE administering the vaccine.

a. Chronic respiratory diseases may include: chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema.
b. Autoimmune diseases may include: coeliac disease, Crohns disease, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis:
    Immune suppression or immune deficiency includes diseases modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) or targeted biologic therapies.
c. Neuromuscular and CNS diseases/disorders include: celebral palsy, congenital myopathy, epilepsy, hydrocephaly, motor neurone disease,
    multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury.
d. Haemoglobinopathies including: sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia.

The funded vaccines for 2020 are:

  • INFLUVAC® TETRA or AFLURIA® QUAD – for adults and children aged 3 years or older
  • AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR – for children aged under 3 years, i.e. 6–35 months

Note: The non-funded influenza vaccine for 2020 is:

INFLUVAC® TETRA (SAISON 2019/2020) – for adults and children aged 3 years or older



Patient eligibility and clinical queries contact
The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)
The University of Auckland
Phone: 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)
Email: [email protected]

For manual claiming and Payment Queries
Call sector services contact centre on 0800 458 448