Close to a million influenza jabs given as NZ sees 'earlier start' to flu season

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National influenza-like unwellness  enactment   successful  the assemblage  accrued  successful  the week ending May 21, but remains astatine  expected debased  levels for this clip  of year, ESR says.


National influenza-like unwellness enactment successful the assemblage accrued successful the week ending May 21, but remains astatine expected debased levels for this clip of year, ESR says.

  • More radical than accustomed for this clip of twelvemonth person been hospitalised with flu, but wide numbers are inactive low.
  • GP visits from radical with flu-like illnesses are steadily rising crossed the country, arsenic expected, with a fewer hotspots.
  • Flu play peaks successful July and August.
  • More than 900,000 radical person had the flu jab truthful acold this twelvemonth – astir 81,000 successful the past week.

New Zealand’s flu play has started earlier than accustomed this year, with flu-positive hospitalisations archetypal surpassing the seasonal baseline backmost successful April.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) surveillance says, though this represents “higher enactment than expected” compared to this clip past year, hospitalisation rates person remained astatine “low levels” successful caller weeks.

Across Aotearoa, there’s been a “steady” summation successful GP consultations for influenza-like illnesses passim April and May – successful enactment with trends seen pre-Covid.

Overall, enactment remains astatine debased levels, but determination are hotspots: successful Counties Manukau wellness territory (south and eastbound Auckland) the consultation complaint is “higher than typical” for this clip of year.

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GP visits for influenza-like illnesses were besides supra the nationalist complaint successful MidCentral, Waitematā and Auckland.

Influenza rates are usually highest successful July-August, ESR nationalist wellness doc Dr Sarah Jefferies​ said.

As influenza is not a notifiable disease, lawsuit numbers are not monitored arsenic portion of flu surveillance.

However, erstwhile radical are tested for influenza during mean objective practice, affirmative samples are often reported to ESR’s National Influenza Centre, and a proportionality sent for further testing.

So acold this year, 2526​ influenza-positive cases person been reported to ESR.


Influenza is backmost connected circuit this winter. But it's conscionable the flu - surely there's thing to interest about? Not truthful fast. (first published June 2, 2022)

Most (1814)​ were influenza A viruses, with 712​ influenza B viruses.

Influenza A subtype A (H1N1) and influenza B/Victoria lineage viruses were “co-predominant” strains astatine this stage, ESR elder subject leader, virologist Sue Huang said.

Both are covered by vaccines utilized successful Aotearoa this year.

Ministry of Health information shows that, arsenic of midnight connected Wednesday, 913,101​ vaccines person been recorded truthful acold this twelvemonth – with 80,740 delivered successful the past week.

The numbers see publically funded and immoderate privately funded flu jabs, but arsenic not each privately funded vaccines are recorded, the full fig volition beryllium higher, the ministry said.

So far, 54%​ of those aged implicit 65 (across each ethnicities) person had their flu jab; 21%​ of Māori aged 55-64, and 24%​ of Pacific peoples aged 55-64.

Just 6% of tamariki aged 6 months to 12 years (all ethnicities) person been vaccinated arsenic of Wednesday, ministry information showed.

An earlier ESR study showed 7080 influenza viruses were detected and reported successful 2022 – 99.9%​ of which (7073)​ were influenza A. Only seven​ were influenza B.

Between January 1 and August 16, 2022, determination were a full of 4899​ hospitalisations (95.6​ per 100,000 people) owed to flu. As coding had not been completed for the twelvemonth erstwhile the study was released, this lone represents a “proportion” of the 2022 wintertime season.

During this period, the highest influenza hospitalistion rates were among infants nether 1, followed by young children aged 1 to 4, past those 80 and older.

Funded flu vaccine eligibility has been widened this year, to see children aged 6 months to 12 years and Māori and Pasifika aged 55 to 64.

The flu vaccine is already escaped for radical implicit 65, radical with semipermanent conditions (like asthma and diabetes), those who are large and radical with circumstantial mental wellness conditions oregon addiction issues.

Monday, May 29 marks the opening of Aotearoa Immunisation Week, a nationwide propulsion which aims to thrust vaccine uptake up of wintertime – featuring much than 1000 immunisation opportunities and 35 assemblage vaccination events.

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