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Did you know you and your baby can help develop better vaccines to prevent flu in the future?

WellKiwis needs mums and dads in the Wellington region who will join us in monitoring their babies and young children for any exposure to the flu virus or flu vaccine throughout their first seven years. Influenza (flu), unlike a common cold, is a serious illness that affects hundreds and thousands of people globally. In New Zealand, young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to its infection.


What is the Well Kiwis influenza study?

WellKiwis is a study which will follow newborn babies from birth to age seven. The aim is to see how a child’s first exposure to the flu virus – or flu vaccine – influences their on-going immune responses to subsequent exposures to flu over time as a child grows. The purpose of the WellKiwis study is to provide information which will enable scientists and researchers to make more effective and longer lasting flu vaccines for our future populations.

Who should take part?

Women who are expecting to give birth between 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2022WellKiwis would like to recruit 600 Wellington mother-infant pairs (200 pairs a year for three years) and follow these children up to 7 years until 2026

What are we studying?

WellKiwis is a study of influenza (flu) immunity in children. The study is to follow newborns over 7 years to see how a child’s first encounter to the flu virus or vaccine influences their immune responses to subsequent exposures to flu as the child grows.

Why are we doing the study?

The purpose of the WellKiwis study is to provide information to help to make more effective and longer lasting flu vaccines for New Zealand and the world in the future.

What does the study involve?

WellKiwis study staff will monitor your child’s flu-like illness for seven years through regular surveys. Cord blood is needed from you and one annual blood from your child each year. Additional samples (blood or swab) are needed only if your child has flu virus infection or flu vaccine.

What are the benefits of the study?

The study will help you learn more about when your child is sick with the flu virus or another respiratory virus. You will receive gift cards to recognise your time and effort. No medications will be given.

How to find out more

This study is being conducted at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) in collaboration with the Hutt valley & Wellington communities, Hutt Valley DHB and Capital & Coast DHB clinicians including Regional public health nurses, physicians, midwives, obstetricians, paediatricians, microbiologists and the HVDHB theatre team.

For more information: Visit Wellkiwis.co.nz and Wellkiwis facebook page or call Dr. Sue Huang (lead researcher) or other study staff at 0800 493555 (0800 4Wellkiwi) or you can email at Wellkiwis@esr.cri.nz if you are interested in enrolling in WellKiwis.

Last updated 16 September 2020.