Ministry of Health Immunisation Update 12 April 2019

Date: 
Friday, April 12, 2019

Influenza vaccine for children under 3 years: availability

  • Fluarix Tetra for children under 3 years ie 6 to 35 months is now available to order. Orders are restricted to five doses, as limited quantities are available – please reserve this for children aged 6 to 35 months old. Please do not plan clinics for young children until you have received the vaccine.
  • From 1 April 2019, PHARMAC, in consultation with the relevant DHBs, has removed the eligibility criteria which offered free influenza vaccine for under 18 year olds in Seddon Ward and rural eastern Marlborough region, Kaikoura and Hurunui. The standard eligibility criteria will now apply in those regions.

Shingles

  • While influenza immunisation season is a convenient opportunity to provide zoster vaccine to older patients who had not previously received it, please remember that unlike influenza, zoster vaccine is not an annual vaccine and only one dose is funded per patient. Those aged 66 to 80 have until 31 March next year (ie before next year’s influenza immunisation programme) to be eligible for catch up vaccination.
  • An additional payment of $15 is still available for administration of the Zostavax vaccine, when given in the same visit as an influenza vaccine. This process has not yet been automated through PMSs and practices should continue to claim this payment manually via their PHOs to DHBs.
  • Zoster vaccine can be administered year round. When it is administered separately from influenza vaccine, the usual immunisation payment can be claimed.