You'll find IMAC's 'Everything you need to know about Flu 2022' handbook and related resources on the front page of the IMAC influenza website.
All influenza vaccinations commence on 1 April 2022. There are no staggered starts or group roll outs this year.
Pharmac is widening access to influenza vaccine from 1 April 2022 for Māori and Pacific peoples who are 55-64 years of age, for the duration of the 2022 calendar year. This is to reduce the impact of influenza to high-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important to note that each brand is for a specific age group.
Funded for eligible individuals
NOT funded but available for private purchase
The IMAC handy one-pager summary for the 2022 flu season vaccines (PDF) is available to download.
Seqirus acknowledge the additional workload and logistics for vaccinators in managing four brands of vaccine. Their key aim is to ensure there is continuity of vaccine supply for patients.
From 1 April 2022 wider access for Māori and Pacific peoples who are 55-64 years of age was announced for the influenza vaccine for the duration of the 2022 calendar year. This is to reduce the impact of influenza to high-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As yet the Ministry of Health has not updated their eligible conditions, which means PMS vendors have not yet made updates.
Our current ‘workaround advice’ is to claim using the 99006 influenza claim, with indication value 3- eligible condition. Document “patient eligible for funded vaccine due to primary ethnicity and age group”. Please see the MOH immunisation subsidy webpage for full details on submitting claims.
Ideally another condition will be added by the Ministry, which would allow for more robust data collection. This is our best advice in the current situation to allow you to claim now, as there is a time limit in which to claim. We’ll ensure any updates to this situation are published in the practice newsletter.
Seqirus reports the demand for FLUAD Quad from paying patients has exceeded forecasts and stock has nearly been fully allocated. There is ample stock of the Afluria Quad vaccine which is funded for patients aged 65+. See the IMAC website for more information.
Providers outside general practice are using NIS via the CIR platform to record flu vaccinations. From mid May, any flu vaccinations recorded in the NIS platform will generate a message to the PMS to alert the enrolled GP of the vaccination, this will also include alerts for any flu vaccinations that have been captured since 1 April.
It's estimated that by mid-May, approximately 300k+ flu vaccinations will have been recorded via NIS since 1 April. This means to clear the backlog, these messages would potentially be sent out daily for a couple of weeks.
Once the MOH have processed the backlog of messages (and Medtech practices have manually filed the events) the Power BI app 'Flu Eligibility' will automatically pick these up.
The observation period can be reduced to 5 minutes for people who meet all of the following criteria:
Find more information in IMAC's 'Everything you need to know about Flu 2022' handbook.
Please make sure you record influenza vaccination on the NIR. The NIR is the most accurate source of information for the Ministry about how many vaccines have been administered and how many are still likely to be in circulation and guides their decision making on this issue. Please DO NOT use the flu tab via CIR at this stage for recording flu vaccines given, enter these, as above into NIR via your PMS.
When loading a vaccine such as influenza or Zostavax to the practice management software (PMS), nurses need to please put the GP name in the 'Provider' field (not themselves) and the vaccinators name in the 'Vaccinator' field. If this information is not recorded correctly, the vaccinations will not be counted on the National Immunisation Register and also effects payment. For more information contact Helen Ride, Waikato immunisation facilitator.
A reminder the Ministry of Health requests that once a patient turns 65 years of age, their flu vaccination claim must be categorised as 65+ years, even if they have previously qualified in other ways for the funded influenza vaccine (such as for other conditions). This ensures coverage of accurate data for the 65+ age group. Please also be sure to inactivate any old recalls for other flu codes, if you need assistance with this please contact your practice development facilitator.
MOH will be providing funding to support influenza vaccination for health and disability sector employees, self-employed lead maternity carers and carers employed under individualised funding arrangements who:
Further information on how to claim is available on the Ministry of Health website (please note until MOH update their website, this is 2021 information).
The Ministry of Health has added new and downloadable flu collateral to their Dropbox (linked below) including social media tiles and posters for Māori and Pacific peoples. Their flu brochures are currently being translated into te reo Māori and several Pacific languages and will be uploaded into the Dropbox shortly. Printed material can be ordered via the DHBs in the usual way.
The Ministry of Health advises that anyone who has been infected with COVID-19 can have a flu vaccination as soon as they have fully recovered. The flu vaccine can be given concomitantly with COVID-19 vaccines with one exception: a 3-day interval is recommended for FLUAD QUAD (unfunded flu vaccine for 65+) and Novavax.
The flu vaccine can also be given with other vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule with one exception: a 2-day interval is recommended for all influenza vaccines and PCV13. (PCV13 or Prevenar 13 protects against pneumococal disease and is funded as an alternative to Synflorix for children and adults with an eligible medical condition). See page 7 in the 2022 Flu Kit.
For nurses who are authorised vaccinators, administration of the seasonal flu vaccine to patients who do not fit within the national immunisation schedule requires either a) a standing order or b) the authorisation of the local medical officer of health. Please refer to the authorisation from the medical officers of health below for each Pinnacle MHN locality.
Waikato DHB medical officer of health, Dr Felicity Dumble, has given approval to all vaccinators within the Waikato region who have been authorised by her to administer the influenza vaccine to those ineligible for funded vaccine. This approval means that standing orders or prescriptions do not need to be used when the vaccine is being administered by an authorised vaccinator who has the appropriate knowledge and skills.
Medical officer of health for Hauora Tairawhiti, Dr Osman Mansoor, has authorised all vaccinators within the Tairawhiti region to administer the influenza vaccine to those ineligible for funded vaccine, for vaccinations given in the practice. For outreach programmes, such as in workplaces, he asks to see the documentation that they have met the requirements of an outreach programme. The full letter, dated 22 January 2022 and sent to authorised vaccinators, is linked below.
The medical officers of health have set in place a process to approve a local immunisation programme, which is valid for two years, for the administration of influenza vaccine (and other specified vaccines) to those ineligible for funded vaccines. Applicants need to complete the application template, attach a copy of all their nurses' current vaccinator approval certificates, Cold Chain Accreditation certificate and other specified copies and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org (attention Estelle Steinmann).
A standing order template (standing orders resource page linked below) is available for administration of the flu vaccine by a registered nurse who is not an authorised independent vaccinator or those who have completed the provisional vaccinator foundation course (for the two assessment vaccinations and until authorised only).
The existing process for standing orders applies whereby the practice team need to review this if it is being used and ensure it is signed by a GP/ Mātanga Tapuhi NP and each practice nurse working under it is captured. Please use this template to create a standing order template for your practice.
Visit the influenza website for all information relating to the 2022 influenza vaccination programme.