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Vaccine update 2021

April 1, 2021


Vaccine Update 2021

We are pleased to see the enthusiasm in our community for vaccination against influenza and COVID 19. Unfortunately, we cannot as yet answer all your questions. We are completely reliant on the Ministry of Health and local DHBs to determine the timing of the rollouts. As you will remember last year the delivery of vaccines was very unreliable. We are hoping for better this year but are cautious about overpromising until we have vaccines in our fridge. We can promise to communicate as soon as we have more information.

Flu vaccinations, Kuia and Kaumatua first (over 65 years)

We have just had notice that we can start the influenza vaccine rollout on 14th April for the 65-year-old plus group. The vaccine will be the Fluad Quad, and we anticipate that we will start to get deliveries next week, fingers crossed.

We are keen to vaccinate as many of the 65 + year old age group as quickly as possible, so that this group can subsequently have the COVID -19 vaccine when it becomes available. There needs to be a 14-day gap between the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Once the COVID -19 vaccine is rolled out, that will take priority and at that time we suggest starting with COVID -19 vaccination then 2 weeks after completing the course to have the flu vaccination.

From mid-May, we should receive doses of the Afluria Quad flu vaccine. This is for our whanau and tamariki (ages 3- 64-year-olds) who have medical conditions which make them more vulnerable to flu. For example – those with cancer, heart disease, asthma, autoimmune conditions, etc.

Towards the end of May, we will invite in our younger tamariki (aged 6-35 months) for Afluria Junior flu vaccination for those high-risk youngsters.

By the end of May, the flu vaccine can be rolled out to those not eligible for funded vaccines, allowing us to protect our whole team of 5 million.

COVID 19 vaccinations

Every New Zealander over the age of 16 will be entitled to two Comirnaty Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, given at least 3 weeks apart. From the experience of our own staff the vaccinations are very well tolerated, and we highly recommend them. We will provide more vaccine information in due course but included are some links to some trusted sites.

The more of us that get vaccinated the safer our country will be, and we stand a greater chance of the borders opening and for us Kiwis to return to a more normal existence. The risk of our health system collapsing will subside and there will be more certainty for businesses throughout the country.

For more information about the Comirnaty vaccine please visit

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-types-vaccines/covid-19-pfizer-biontech-comirnaty-vaccine

https://www.immune.org.nz/covid-19-vaccines

For information about COVID-19 vaccine rollout groups, visit: https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccines/getting-a-covid-19-vaccine/find-out-when-you-can-get-a-vaccine/

So far over 73,000 vaccines have been given to MIQ workers and their families, and 15,000 have had a second dose.

The next stage of the rollout is for frontline health workers and those people living in high-risk places (480,000 in total). High risk places include:

From May the vaccine will be offered to people at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 and then in July the roll out will be to the rest of the general population.

News on where this vaccination is going to be given out is scant. We requested to be involved in the May tranche of rollout, but very disappointingly it appears that none of our PHO practices have been included as some of the Auckland sites. Currently we believe that we will be involved in the July roll out to the general population but will be waiting for more news.

The bottom line is that we want our patients to all be offered the vaccine and encourage you to take it up as soon as possible when you are offered it, regardless of where you need to attend for it. The sooner we all get vaccinated the safer we all will be. There is nothing you must do at this stage – you will be contacted when it is your turn.

https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/Vaccine-resources/COVID-19-Getting-your-COVID-19-vaccine-What-to-expect.pdf

Measles Vaccinations

It is still critically important for everyone aged between 15 and 30 years to check that they have had 2 MMR vaccinations and if not to visit Medplus to get protected for free.