Influenza | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau


Influenza, or “flu”, is a common illness caused by a virus. Most cases occur during the winter months. It is easily spread to others through talking, coughing and sneezing. People are always at risk of getting flu because the virus types or strains are always changing. Most people who get flu will recover, but some cases can lead to serious complications or even death.

Influenza vaccination in pregnancy

Experience from previous seasonal influenza outbreaks, including the 2009/2010 pandemic, showed that pregnant women are at greater risk from complications associated with influenza. Flu in pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation and other illnesses. The best protection is to get the flu vaccination to protect yourself and your baby. 

The influenza vaccine is available from April to December.

Those at a higher risk for flu complications are eligible for FREE influenza immunisation, that includes: 

  • People aged 65 or over
  • Māori and Pasifika people of any age who live in Northland (please see your GP or Pharmacy for free immunisation if you are aged 54 or under)
  • pregnant women
  • anyone with a health condition such as diabetes, cancer, kidney problem, heart disease or a serious medical condition
  • children aged four years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness, measles or have a history of significant respiratory illness. 

For further information, contact your GP/local doctor or click here.

If you do not have one of these eligible conditions, you still benefit from an influenza immunisation available at a small cost. 

For further information, see:


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