News » Flu Vaccine Shortage

Flu Vaccine Shortage

Posted by Practice Manager on 7 June 2019

Last update 8 July, 1.47pm
The distribution of influenza (flu) vaccine in New Zealand has reached near record levels. 
Around 1.26 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed already this winter. This is close to last year’s all-time record of 1.3 million doses for the entire season, and exceeds the number of doses distributed each year in 2016 and 2017. 
Due to continued high demand for the flu vaccine, there is now very limited stock left.

To ensure that those most in need can get the flu vaccine, the Ministry of Health is asking General Practices and Pharmacists to closely manage their stock levels and only vaccinate those who are in high risk groups:
  • Pregnant women 
  • People with severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health conditions that make them more susceptible to influenza.
  • People over 65 years
  • Children under 9 years who have had their first dose will only get a 2nd booster vaccine (given if this is their first time they have had a flu vaccine) if they have severe respiratory illness or other serious health condition.
There is still stock of the children's flu vaccine for children between 6 and 35 months of age. However, we have been advised we can no longer give these to children under 3 years unless they have a serious respiratory illness. Instead, they are being used to boost stocks for vaccinating pregnant women.

For more detailed information on eligibility criteria, see