Ministry of Health Immunisation Update 11 June 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Due to continued high demand for the influenza vaccine, there is no more Influvac Tetra available to order from HCL and your existing orders for Influvac Tetra have had to be cancelled. Strictly limited stocks of Fluarix Tetra can still be ordered, with a maximum order of 5 doses. Limited stock of Afluria Quad will however also be available for eligible patients. The Ministry of Health is asking General Practices and Pharmacists to prioritise vaccinating those at greatest risk of influenza:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Children aged 4 and under with serious respiratory illnesses.
  • People with severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health conditions that make them more susceptible to influenza.
  • Those aged 65 and over.

Practices that have very limited stock of Fluarix Tetra, the highest priority groups are pregnant women and young children with structural lung disease, for example ex premature children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The Ministry will be working with PHOs to assist with sharing vaccines between practices if required, and will provide further information as this process is established.

PHARMAC have amended the funding criteria for Fluarix Tetra and have funded Afluria Quad to ensure that influenza vaccine is available for the above eligible groups:

  • Fluarix Tetra is now funded for pregnant women as well as children aged between 6 and 35 months.
  • Following agreement with Seqirus, Afluria Quad is now funded for eligible patients and can be claimed as for other funded vaccines. Please note that this is indicated only for those aged 5 years and older.
  • Practices and pharmacies will be able to claim for administration and vaccine cost when they administer these vaccines to their eligible patients. Note that while one box of Influvac Tetra or Fluarix Tetra may be returned at the end of the year for refund, Afluria Quad cannot be returned.