Health New Zealand: expanded flu eligibility and second booster announcement

We wanted to provide you with a confidential update that early tomorrow morning (Monday 27 June) Health Minister Andrew Little and COVID-19 Response Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall will formally announce the criteria for a 2nd booster and an expansion of free flu vaccinations. The following is a summary of the key messages.

We would appreciate it if you could pass these messages on to your networks please.

Extended flu vaccinations to 3-12 year olds

  • Children aged 3-12 years and people with serious mental health or addiction needs now eligible for free flu dose – these will be available from 1 July.
  • Free flu shots are already available for everyone over the age of 65 and those at risk of becoming seriously ill or who have underlying conditions.

Second booster for those at risk of severe illness from COVID-19

  • A second booster is recommended for those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – a minimum of 6 months after a first booster. 
  • For those who are not considered at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, a two-dose primary course and a booster dose provides very good protection against severe illness from COVID-19.

The following people are recommended to receive a second booster as a priority: 

  • people aged 65 years and over
  • Māori and Pacific peoples aged 50 years and over
  • residents of aged care and disability care facilities
  • severely immunocompromised people who received a three-dose primary course and a fourth dose as a first booster (noting this would be a fifth dose for these people)
  • people aged 16 years and over who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe breakthrough COVID-19 illness and
  • people aged 16 years and over who live with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities.

In addition, a second booster is available for:

  • all people aged over 50 years
  • health, aged care and disability workers aged over 30 years.

These groups can book an appointment for a booster dose through Book My Vaccine from Tuesday 28 July 2022, or by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week). 

Ngā mihi

Angela Paul (she/her)

Engagement Lead National Immunisation Programme

Interim Health New Zealand

M   +64 (27) 240 7066