Getting the flu vaccine helps reduce your risk of getting really sick or having to go to hospital.
As expected, this flu season is one of the most challenging we’ve seen in recent years, with many people presenting at hospital with severe flu-related symptoms. Funded eligibility for the flu vaccine has now been extended.
Flu vaccines are free for those people most likely to get very sick – people who are over 65 years of age; Māori and Pacific people over 55 years of age; pregnant people; tamariki aged 3-12 years old, and those with underlying and other health conditions.
New Zealand is moving towards the winter peak for all respiratory illness, including flu. We encourage everyone to get a flu vaccination if they are not yet immunised.
We also remind people to stay home if they are unwell, regardless of their COVID-19 test result. Staying home when unwell is one of the most important public health measures to prevent transmission of all respiratory illnesses.
From 1 July, flu vaccinations became free for all tamariki aged 3-12 years old, and for people with serious mental health conditions or addiction. To keep your child and whānau healthy this winter, it’s important they have a flu vaccination, and are also up-to-date with their other vaccinations, including COVID-19 and MMR. Tamariki aged under 9 may require two doses of the flu vaccination, 4 weeks apart, if they have not had it before.
Data may vary from week to week as flu records are updated.