Annual influenza immunisation is recommended to provide protection from the predominant circulating influenza strains. The vaccine should be given before the influenza season in New Zealand.
The World Health Organization monitors influenza illness throughout the year and makes recommendations on which four influenza types are likely to cause the most illness in the northern and in the southern hemisphere during their respective influenza seasons. Vaccine ingredients are specific to the brand of influenza vaccine they are associated with and may vary to year. Specific information on ingredients in the vaccines use each season can be found in the individual Medsafe vaccine datasheets.
Influenza immunisation is recommended and offered free to:
Influenza immunisation for children and adults who meet the above eligibility criteria to receive the vaccine for free can access it through their family doctor. Many pharmacies offer free influenza immunisation to adolescents (from aged 13) and adults*, and some can administer influenza vaccine to children aged 3 years and older.
Those not eligible for a free influenza immunisation can purchase one through their family doctor or a vaccinating pharmacy.
Some employers fund influenza vaccinations for their employees.
*Adults aged 18 years or older must also be eligible to receive publicly funded health and disability services in New Zealand to receive funded influenza vaccination.
Responses associated with Afluria Quad Junior and Afluria Quad:
Responses associated with Fluad Quad in older adults:
Brands: Afluria Quad Junior, Afluria Quad, Fluad Quad, FluQuadri
The four quadrivalent influenza vaccines for 2022 are:
Afluria Quad Junior
Detailed health professional information and resources about the 2022 Influenza Immunisation Programme for health professionals are available on the Influenza information for health professionals website, www.influenza.org.nz.
Information about influenza immunisation in 2022 for people who are not health professionals can be found on the Manatū Haora website pages here.
The influenza vaccine is recommended for:
The following conditions are excluded from funding:
*Eligible for funded influenza vaccine.
≠Recommendations for influenza vaccine for children vary between countries. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices within the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. recommends annual vaccination for all children aged 6 months to 18 years. Influenza infection rates are generally higher in children. The greatest benefits are seen in vaccinating children at high risk of influenza or its complications. However, healthy children are the major cause of the spread of influenza in the community and vaccination of this population can substantially reduce the spread of influenza and related costs. The Ministry of Health in New Zealand offers free influenza vaccination to children from six months of age who have certain chronic medical conditions.
†The seasonal influenza vaccine is strongly recommended for women who will be pregnant or are pregnant during the influenza season. In 2009 pregnant and post-partum women in Australian and New Zealand were seven times more likely to be admitted to intensive care with 2009 H1N1 influenza than non-pregnant women of child bearing age. This risk increased to 20 times more likely from 20 weeks gestation. Studies have demonstrated that when the influenza vaccine is given to a woman in the late stages of pregnancy the incidence of laboratory confirmed influenza is reduced during the first 6 months of life and hospital admissions for laboratory confirmed influenza are significantly reduced.
* Two doses separated by at least 4 weeks if an influenza vaccine is being administered for the first time.
The 20-minute waiting period continues to be the best option when the waiting area is adequate and safe. Adolescents aged 13 years or older and adults receiving any other vaccination, and all children aged under 13 years need to remain under observation for the 20-minutes post-vaccination.
If the risk of exposure to infectious disease in a crowded waiting room is higher than the low risk of anaphylactic events, for those receiving only an influenza vaccination the observation period can be reduced to 5 minutes if those people meet ALL of the following criteria:
The influenza vaccine can be given at the same time or immediately before or after Comirnaty 10mcg or 30mcg vaccines.
The Nuvaxovid (Novavax) adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine and Fluad Quad vaccine are recommended to be spaced at 3 or more days between doses.
Those who are pregnant are recommended to have the influenza vaccine and Comirnaty 30 mcg vaccine at any stage of pregnancy. They can be given at the same time or separately.
The influenza vaccine can be administered concurrently with non-COVID-19 vaccines, including the herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine, pneumococcal vaccines and Tdap, and the National Immunisation Schedule vaccines. Separate syringes and different injection sites should be used.
The Fluad Quad and the Shingrix vaccines are recommended to be spaced at 3 or more days between doses.
Store as per the cold chain, between +2°C to +8°C. Protect from light. The expiry date of the vaccine is the last day of the month in the year indicated on the packaging.
For all vaccines, similar to most medications, an extremely rare allergic reaction called ‘anaphylaxis’ can occur. Anaphylaxis after immunisation occurs about 1–3 times in every one million vaccine doses. All vaccinators will have training and equipment to deal with this situation in the unlikely event of it occurring. No other serious responses to the vaccine have been identified.