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More flu vaccines and second covid booster

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Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Government has widened access to free flu vaccines with an extra 800,000 New Zealanders eligible from July 1. 

Also, from tomorrow, a second covid booster will be available six months after the first booster for older New Zealanders and other groups.

The increase in free flu vaccines and covid booster shots are being ramped up because of more people being admitted to hospitals.

More than one million New Zealanders have had their flu shots and in recent weeks the number of pre-school children have been hospitalised with the flu.

The second covid booster is available to everyone over the age of 50 and recommended for anyone over the age of 65, as well as Māori and Pacific peoples older than 50 and people who are severely immunocompromised

For those not at risk of severe illness from covid, a two-dose primary course and one booster continues to provide very good protection

The Ministry of Health’s covid vaccine technical advisory group will continue to review new information on the pandemic and vaccines and will make further recommendations on eligibility criteria as necessary.

People s eligible for a second booster can get one without a prescription from a range of places, including walk-in and drive-through vaccination centres, booking online using BookMyVaccine or by calling the covid vaccination healthline on 0800 282926.

A record two million doses of flu vaccine are available this year, and so far just over a million people have been vaccinated.

The widened eligibility criteria means more than 800,000 more  people can now get free vaccinations – about 655,000 children and 170,000 people with serious mental health and addiction needs.