Five key messages for 2018

  1. Immunisation is the best protection against influenza. Get a ‘flu shot’ before winter annually.
  2. A mild case of influenza can disrupt your life.
  3. Many people don’t feel unwell with influenza but can still pass it on to others.
  4. Get immunised to prevent influenza spread in your community.
  5. Influenza immunisation is recommended and FREE for those likely to get very sick, go to hospital or die from influenza.


Influenza immunisation is recommended and FREE for those most likely to get very sick, go to hospital or die from influenza:

  1. Pregnant women (any trimester, every pregnancy).
  2. People aged 65 years old or older.
  3. People aged under 65 years with eligible medical conditions.
    - Children aged 4 years or under who have been in hospital for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.


The influenza vaccine for the New Zealand 2018 influenza season contains the following four virus strains:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus*
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus*
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

*two new strains

Four reasons why healthcare workers should be vaccinated:

  1. Protect patients at greater risk of developing complications.
  2. Improved patient safety, improved employee safety and decreased healthcare expenditure.
  3. Healthcare workers have a duty of care to protect vulnerable patients from the serious threat of influenza illness.
  4. Relying on patients being vaccinated for their personal protection is not enough, many vulnerable people have a poor immune response to the vaccine or may not have been vaccinated this year.

Resources for General Practice

The following can be ordered from 

      Top five ways to stay healthy



For influenza information for Health Professionals, please visit the Ministry of Health website.

Last updated 6 April 2018.