Influenza (the flu) can be a serious and sometimes fatal illness.
Infection with the influenza virus may lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition.
Even if you do not end up in hospital, influenza can keep you in bed for a week or more. This is why flu vaccination is free for people aged 65 and older, from 14 April, from your GP, medical centre nurse or Māori health provider.
From mid-May the vaccine will also be free for:
- pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
- children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
- people under 65 years with any of the medical conditions listed on this webpage