More than 50,000 new influenza vaccine doses coming to New Zealand

The Health Minister has announced more than 50,000 more influenza vaccine doses will arrive in New Zealand next week.

Pharmac said last month that due to a record number of vaccines having been distributed, stock was running low.

A large number of influenza cases are being reported, with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) saying in June that it was treating between 35 and 48 patients in Christchurch hospital every day with the illness or symptoms.

Health Minister Dr David Clark has now announced an additional 55,000 vaccines will be brought to New Zealand next week and available to the public from July 15. 

"The flu is a serious disease and vaccination is the best available protection from it. So it is great news that Pharmac and the Ministry of Health have managed to secure these extra vaccines," Clark said on Saturday.

"The additional 55,000 vaccines will take the total number of influenza vaccines to a record 1.38 million, the highest number ever made available in New Zealand in a single year."

The additional vaccines are Sanofi's FluQuadri, from Australia. FluQuadri had been used in New Zealand in previous years, but had not completed the Medsafe approval process by the start of this year's influenza season. The process has now been completed, meaning the vaccine has been approved.