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Auckland COVID-19 vaccination sites join the flu vaccine roll-out

You can now get your flu vaccine at Auckland's COVID-19 vaccination centres, your GP and most pharmacies. Visit vaccinateforauckland.nz for updates.()

More than 340,000 people in metro Auckland are eligible to receive the flu vaccination for free. Those eligible include; people aged 65 and over, Māori and Pacific aged 55 and over, pregnant women, people with underlying health issues, including asthma, diabetes and heart conditions, and children aged under 4 who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

Those non-eligible people for a free vaccine are able to pay for a vaccine if they would like one. You can discuss your vaccination options with your GP or local pharmacist.

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Chief Clinical Officer Vaccinations, Dr Anthony Jordan, says there is increased concern of a widespread flu outbreak across Aotearoa this winter with the border re-opening.

“To put into perspective, in the year before COVID-19 came to our shores, as many as 2,500 people were hospitalised across our three metro Auckland DHBs with influenza.

“Influenza has not been circulating in our environment for two years and that means our immunity to the virus will be lower.

“This poses a far greater risk to our medically vulnerable populations and is expected to put pressure back on our health system following two years of managing COVID-19.

“We know that if you get COVID-19 and then get a secondary viral infection, like influenza soon after, you have a higher risk of a poor outcome.

“We are still seeing thousands of COVID-19 cases a day across the country and this is expected to continue into the winter months when flu is also expected to be present. 

“It’s more important than ever to prioritise getting the flu vaccine this year.”

Dr Jordan says it’s important for people to continue with the public health measures we are now used to.

“Mask-wearing and staying home when sick, combined with vaccination, will help to minimise the risk of overwhelming the health system this winter.”

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