To ensure that those most in need can get the influenza vaccine, the Ministry of Health is asking General Practices and Pharmacists to ensure they closely manage their stock levels and only vaccinate those who are eligible for publicly funded vaccines. This includes:
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 and over
- 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
There is still adequate stock of the funded brand of the paediatric influenza vaccine, Fluarix Tetra. Providers are being asked to continue to target this to children between 6 and 35 months of age.
As well as vaccination, it's also important that all of us keep in mind other ways to be healthy during the flu season – washing hands, safe sneezing, and staying home if you're unwell are other ways we can reduce the spread of winter illnesses including flu.