Additional Influenza Vaccines sourced by MOH and Pharmac

10 Jul 2019

The Ministry of Health and PHARMAC are pleased to advise that an additional 55,000 doses of influenza vaccine FluQuadri have been sourced for delivery to New Zealand from Monday 8 July. This should enable providers to receive delivery from later that week onwards. We would like to thank providers for their co-operation over the last month, which has enabled influenza vaccination to continue to those at greatest risk of the disease.  While they continue to be our priority, the additional vaccines mean that other New Zealanders will be able to purchase the vaccine once the new stocks arrive.

FluQuadri was approved for use in patients aged 3 years and older by Medsafe on 3 July 2019.  It has previously been used in New Zealand but this year had not completed the approval process until now. This has enabled it to be imported into New Zealand in response to higher than expected demand.

Orders for FluQuadri are now open through HCL (backorders can be placed).  A minimum and maximum order of 30 doses applies.  FluQuadri is supplied with separate needles.

Please note that Fluarix Tetra continues to be the only vaccine approved for use in children aged under 3 years. The Ministry has been notified that the vaccine, Fluarix Tetra, is listed as XPharm in the Pharmaceutical Schedule and administration of this vaccine to pregnant women cannot be claimed for by community pharmacists. We are aware that this was not clear in our recent communication regarding the widening of the funding criteria of Fluarix Tetra to include pregnant women. We apologise for any confusion.

Ministry of Health Sector Operations Group will be unable to process pharmacy claims for FluQuadri until August. We advise pharmacies to hold claims for this vaccine until August.

Influenza vaccination continues to be free for:

  •    pregnant women
  •    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
  •    those aged 65 and over.