Formation of new sector working group and the disestablishment of the National Influenza Strategy Group (NISG)

Wednesday, December 16, 2020


The Ministry of Health has established a new sector working group for its Influenza 2021 immunisation programme. This is in response to a Ministry-commissioned report into the supply chain issues experienced in 2020. As a result of this new group, the National Influenza Strategy Group (NISG) has recently been disestablished.

This working group brings together representatives from key organisations in the influenza immunisation programme: from those supplying and distributing the vaccine, through to groups representing immunisation providers.

The sector group is chaired by the Ministry of Health, and includes vaccine supplier Seqirus, vaccine distribution centre HCL, PHARMAC, Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC), The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, New Zealand Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, Pharmacy Guild, MedPro Healthcare, and the New Zealand Occupational Health Nurse Association, along with DHB Planning and Funding and DHB Tumu Whakarae.

The kaupapa of the group is to support a more collaborative and integrated influenza immunisation sector, to drive progress across the Influenza immunisation programme, advise on planning and potential design of future programmes. It will review potential improvements to the programme and make recommendations to the Ministry’s Influenza project team as required.

The group’s first meeting took place in late November, and focused on vaccine supply, demand planning and a promotional campaign led by the Immunisation Advisory Centre, and a more joined-up approach to communications.

Forming a working group was a priority action agreed at a meeting with the Ministry and over 40 stakeholders from the immunisation sector, where the Ministry sought feedback on priority actions based on the report’s findings and recommendations. 

In line with stakeholder feedback, the group’s guiding principles centre on equity of access to the influenza vaccine, equitable immunisation coverage for people eligible to receive a funded vaccination, effective and sustainable provision of influenza vaccination, and achieving a collaborative and integrated influenza immunisation sector.

The group will meet monthly or more frequently as the programme requires.

The Ministry and its partners will provide further information about the 2021 Influenza Immunisation programme shortly.