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Influenza vaccine supply issue

The distribution of influenza vaccine in New Zealand has reached near record levels. Around 1.3 million doses of influenza vaccine have been distributed already this winter. This number is close to last year’s all-time record of 1.326 million doses for the entire season, and exceeds the number of doses distributed each year in 2016 and 2017.

  • There is no more Influvac Tetra available to order from HCL. Existing orders for Influvac Tetra have been cancelled. 
  • Strictly limited stock of Fluarix Tetra can still be ordered, with a maximum order of 5 doses.
  • There is no more Afluria Quad for eligible patients aged 5 years or over, including pregnant women.

High uptake of influenza immunisation means most people will have already been immunised this year. However, due to continued high demand for the influenza vaccine 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.

Health professionals, please use the link to read the document  Managing influenza vaccine supply.

Influenza vaccine brand

Influenza vaccine eligibility by brand

Fluarix Tetra

  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.
  • High-risk eligible children aged 6–35 months.
  • High-risk eligible children aged 3–4 years (prescribed) if no Influvac Tetra is available.

Influvac Tetra

  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.
  • High-risk eligible children from 3 years of age and adults.
  • Adults aged 65 years or over.

Afluria Quad

  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.
  • High-risk eligible children from 5 years of age and adults.
  • Adults aged 65 years or over.

 

Please call your Immunisation Coordinator (not 0800 IMMUNE) if you have any questions about available stock in your area. Use this link to visit our Regional advisors and local coordinators webpage if you need to confirm the contact details for your Immunisation Coordinator.

Reduce the spread of influenza

It is still important for those who have been vaccinated as well as those who have not to reduce the risk of spreading influenza:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash and dry your hands often.
  • Stay away from others if you are sick.

Links to related documents and external websites

 Ministry of Health Immunisation Update 11 June 2019

 PHARMAC media release 6 June 2019

Last updated: Jun 2019