Influenza in New Zealand

Influenza (flu) can be a serious illness and poses a significant public health issue in New Zealand.

Immunisation provides the best protection against influenza, and demand for the vaccine in New Zealand is increasing. Getting a flu vaccine helps reduce your risk of getting really sick or having to go to hospital.

 

2024 Influenza Immunisation Programme

The Prevention Directorate within the National Public Health Service, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora is responsible for implementing the Influenza Immunisation Programme.

Pharmac are responsible for setting the eligibility criteria for funded flu vaccines in Aotearoa New Zealand each year. Detailed information of who is eligible for a free vaccination can be found on the Pharmac website.


Free flu eligibility criteria – Pharmac

Director General Authorisation of the Influenza 2024 Immunisation Programme

The Director General of Health has approved the 2024 influenza programme, commencing April 2nd until Medsafe approved influenza vaccine stock is exhausted or expired, whichever occurs first. This approval also enables authorised vaccinators to administer both public and private market influenza vaccine without prescription from April 2nd. Private market vaccines administered prior to this date, require a prescription, standing order, or addition to an approved Local Immunisation Programme (LIP).

Note: Pharmacist vaccinators can administer private market influenza vaccine under the medicines classifications.

2024 Influenza Programme Goals

The programme goals and objectives for the 2024 Influenza Immunisation season

Aged 65 years and over:

  • Vaccinate 75% of the population aged 65 and over.

Healthcare and disability workers:

  • 80% coverage for Health New Zealand employed workers.
  • An increase in absolute vaccinations from 2023 for non-Health New Zealand health and disability workers.

The objectives are:

  • Offer influenza vaccine to all children aged between six months and four years upon hospital discharge following respiratory illness.
  • Offer influenza vaccine to all pregnant people. 
  • Offer influenza vaccine to all eligible people on discharge from hospital. 

National Influenza Vaccine Data

Each week, throughout the flu season, the Health New Zealand publishes influenza vaccine data and statistics on the influenza vaccine uptake across the country.

Influenza vaccine data – Health NZ

Information for providers

Vaccine supply

There are 1.5 million doses of influenza vaccines available in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2024 and there are 5 types of quadrivalent influenza vaccines.

  • INFLUVAC TETRA is funded and approved for children and adults, aged from six months and older 
  • FLUCELVAX QUAD is unfunded only, approved for use in children and adults, aged from six months and older 
  • AFLURIA® QUAD JUNIOR is unfunded only, approved for use in children aged 6–35 months.
  • AFLURIA® QUAD is unfunded only, approved for use in children and adults aged from 3 years.
  • FLUAD® QUAD is unfunded only, approved for use in adults aged 65 years or older.

For more information visit:


Influenza information for health professionals – IMAC

Claiming for Influenza – 2024

From April 2 contracted providers can claim the cost of the vaccine and the immunisation administration fee for influenza given to an eligible individual via usual claiming process.

Note: The Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR) does not have claiming capability. Contact air.engagement@health.govt.nz for further details on recording influenza vaccinations in AIR.

  • For 2024, the vaccine cost reimbursed by Pharmac is $12 (ex GST) per dose
  • 2024 Influenza Administration fee:

Integrated Community Pharmacy Service Agreement (ICPSA) / Primary Health Organisation Service Agreement (PHOSA) providers

Person eligible for funded influenza

Administration fee

Baseline administration fee

Standard baseline fee (refer to your contract (e.g. PHOSA, ICPSA)


For further details about immunisation subsidies refer to your contract portfolio manager or Primary Health Organisation (PHO).

Note: Immunisation fees are the same, whether or not the patient is enrolled at a general practice. This means vaccinations to casual patients are provided the same immunisation fees.

Immunising health and disability care workers

The World Health Organization strongly recommends healthcare workers as a priority group for influenza vaccination, not only for their own protection and ability to maintain services but also to reduce the spread of influenza to vulnerable patients, including those who are pregnant.

Manatū Hauora and Health New Zealand recommends health and disability workers receive an annual influenza vaccination because influenza is a significant health issue in Aotearoa New Zealand.

District Employees

One of the Influenza Programme goals is that 80 percent of New Zealand’s district health care workers are immunised against Influenza each year. As with previous years, districts are running influenza vaccination programmes for their staff. Please contact your Health & Safety representative for details.

Non-Health New Zealand Employed Health and Disability Workers

One of the Influenza Programme goals is to increase the non-district employed health and disability workers vaccinated annually for influenza. Prevention will again support eligible employers of non-Health New Zealand health and disability workers to claim for the cost of vaccinating their frontline patient facing staff against influenza via the Reimbursement Portal. The Portal will open on 2 April 2024 and close on 11 October 2024.

Reimbursement Portal

About the Reimbursement Portal

The reimbursement scheme will be available from 2 April 2024 to 11 October 2024. Any incomplete claims after the 11th of October will not be considered for reimbursement.

Reimbursement is available for non-Health New Zealand health and disability sector employees, self-employed lead maternity carers, and carers employed under individualised funding arrangements who satisfy all three of the following criteria:   

  • provide a health and/or disability service
  • have direct patient/client contact 
  • are not eligible for a publicly funded influenza vaccine

Employee Eligibility as of 11 April 2024

Occupational categories eligible for the non-Health New Zealand Health and Disability Influenza Reimbursement.  This list is not exhaustive; if in doubt please refer to the above criteria or contact: immunisation@health.govt.nz.  

1.     Addiction practitioner (DAPAANZ)  

2.     Chiropractor  

3.     Dietitian  

4.     Medical Radiation Technologist  

5.     Medical Scientist/Technician  

6.     Occupational therapist  

7.     Optometrist/Dispensing Optician  

8.     Oral health practitioner  

9.     Osteopath  

10.  Māori health provider

11.  Pacific health provider

10.  Paramedics/Ambulance Officers/ Emergency Medical Technicians  

11.  Pharmacist,  dispensary technicians, and pharmacy staff 

12.  Physiotherapist  

13.  Podiatrist  

14.  Psychologist  

15.  Psychotherapist (all scopes)  

16.  Social worker  

17.  Clinical Physiologist  

18.  Medical Physicists  

19.  Counsellor (non-regulated)  

20.  Scientist or Technician (non-regulated)  

21.  Therapist (non-regulated)  

22.  Other Allied Health (non-regulated)  

23.  Aged or Disabled Carer  

24.  Personal Care Assistant  

25.  Health Assistant  

26.  Community Worker  

27.  Other Care and Support Workers  

28.  General Practice specialists

29.  Senior Medical Officers/Specialists (non-GP, non-UC)  

30.  Other (including Resident Medical Officers)  

31.  Midwife  

32.  Enrolled nurse  

33.  Nurse practitioner  

34.  Registered nurse  

35.  Whaikaha Service Providers 

36.  Reception staff

37. Audiology services

If you are unsure if your organisation qualifies for reimbursement, please contact us via immunisation@health.govt.nz  

Employers should submit one invoice for all of their eligible employees, or for themselves if they are a self-employed contactor, via the online reimbursement portal.

 

Please use this invoice template: Tax invoice template (DOCX, 37 KB)

 

Employers can claim costs incurred for influenza vaccination, as supported by appropriate documentation, to a maximum of $35+GST per person vaccinated.

If you do not already have a reimbursement portal account, please follow the sign-up steps in the user guide below. These steps include providing proof of bank account to immunisation@health.govt.nz.

We aim to process reimbursements within 2 months from receipt of a completed valid claim.