New opportunity for pharmacists to offer childhood immunisations

On 13 March, Health New Zealand and Pharmac announced a decision to enable pharmacies to offer childhood immunisations, to help increase opportunities for whānau to access free immunisations in their communities.

From late March, funded training will be available on the IMAC website for pharmacist vaccinators who wish to upskill to authorised vaccinators. Participating pharmacies will be able to order childhood immunisations from 1 April.

This decision is intended to provide another option for those who aren’t enrolled or cannot access their GP, as general practice will remain the preferred place to receive childhood immunisations.  After providing the immunisation, pharmacists will be asked to support referral of parents and caregivers to general practice, to support continuity of care and help ensure pēpi receive important medical checks.

More information about the decision, including key themes from the consultation, can be found on the Pharmac website.

2024 Influenza immunisation update and webinar dates

Flu campaign starting soon

The National flu campaign commences from 18 March with direct activity to encourage those aged 65 years and over to make a booking via Book My Vaccine to get vaccinated from 2 April. The campaign aims to drive early vaccination amongst priority groups through increasing awareness and building on community outreach efforts. From 2 April, social marketing activity will be deployed across TV, outdoor and radio channels, alongside community action initiatives.

If you missed it, there was a flu immunisation update for 2024 in our 29 February Pānui. The update follows Pharmac’s flu eligibility criteria announcement.


To help you prepare for the 2024 flu season, flyers, posters, social media tiles, key messages and Q&A are available in Dropbox: Influenza (flu) – Dropbox

The resources will also be available on the Bluestar portal for you to order in mid-March. Health care providers (eg. general practices, pharmacies and midwives) will receive a mailout directly to their centre, with samples of what’s available. You can expect to receive these from mid-March.

Save these dates - Flu webinar series

We’re also hosting a series of online hui for healthcare providers, to support the rollout of the flu vaccination campaign, with a dedicated hui for priority groups.

The proposed dates for the hui are outlined below. The hui will run from 12.15 to 1.15pm and if you’re unable to attend any one of them, it will be recorded for viewing later.

·       Tuesday, 26 March - Māori and Pacific communities

·       Tuesday, 9 April - Pregnancy

·       Tuesday, 23 April - Pēpi & Tamariki

·       Tuesday, 7 May - Mental Health and Addictions

·       Tuesday, 21 May - 65 and over

Each hui will cover the clinical rationale for each eligibility group, an update on their current vaccine statistics, tips on communicating effectively with this community, an overview of the support resources available, and an opportunity to ask questions.

More details including how to attend will be provided before each hui.

Preparing for winter wellness - 2024 influenza goals & objectives

The NPHS National Director has this week confirmed the goals of the 2024 immunisation campaign as:

·       75% of people aged 65 years and over vaccinated against influenza in 2024

·       80% of HNZ employed workers vaccinated against influenza in 2024

·       More non-HNZ health and disability workers vaccinated against influenza in 2024 than in 2023

These goals are supported by the following objectives – to offer the influenza vaccine to:

·       all children aged between six months and four years upon hospital discharge following a respiratory illness

·       all pregnant people

·       any other eligible people on discharge from hospital.

You will find the Winter Wellness letter and FAQs in our Dropbox.

FLU 2024 posters FLU 2024 posters FLU 2024 posters

Covid vaccine direct communications

The XBB Covid vaccine was made available from 7 March for eligible people aged 12 years and over. From late March, we will contact all eligible people aged 65 and over to encourage them to have an additional dose if it’s been 6 months since they had their last Covid vaccine. For people who have recently received a Covid vaccine, we will contact them 6 months after their last vaccination date. There will also be a national radio campaign from April to September, with a focus on Māori and Pacific people aged 50 and over, and everyone aged 65 and over.

A new Covid poster is now available on Dropbox – Covid poster.

Covid vaccine poster Covid vaccine poster

Childhood immunisation social marketing campaign

The next phase of social marketing to promote childhood immunisations and address complacency will begin in late March and run until the end of June. It will include digital assets and an updated TV commercial from the Acts of Aroha campaign (ran previously in 2022 and 2023). We will also leverage social media influencers across key platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook to share their experiences.

There is a range of videos available in Dropbox to help promote childhood immunisations and we encourage you to use these videos on your social media platforms.

Childhood immunisation social marketing campaign photo of family Childhood immunisation social marketing campaign photo of family Childhood immunisation social marketing campaign photo of family

Immunisation Handbook update

The 2024 Immunisation Handbook version 1 is now available as a downloadable pdf on Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora website.

Our regular reminders on collateral

Dropbox downloadable collateral

Don’t forget all our immunisation collateral is available on Dropbox for health care providers to use when promoting vaccinations. Please feel free to share this link and the collateral widely with your other healthcare colleagues: Dropbox – National Immunisation Programme – vaccine resources.

Collateral in HealthEd

Immunisation resources are also available from HealthEd. We have added some of our immunisation collateral to HealthEd under the vaccinations and immunisations topic. You can now download the resource PDF directly from the HealthEd website, and printed copies of some resources are available to order through Bluestar. If you don’t already have a Bluestar login account, please see below on how to sign up.

Collateral in Bluestar

Printed copies of some resources can be ordered for free via the Bluestar portal. If you’re not already registered, you can register on the Bluestar portal. Below the login details, select ‘Need to Register?’. Complete the online registration form, include your clinic/practice/pharmacy name and your contact details. You will receive an email confirming your registration. Remember to click the button in the email to 'Activate' your registration.

Where can I get more information?

We're here to help!  If there is anything we can do to help with your vaccination promotion activity, or if you need any comms assistance please reach out to the team:

Health sector Comms and Engagement

Māori and Pacific Comms and Engagement

Media issues

Subscribe to our Pānui

To subscribe to our monthly Campaign Monitor newsletters, email us at and we'll put you on the list.

To unsubscribe, click 'unsubscribe' in the Campaign Monitor newsletter.