Getting the flu vaccine

Anyone aged over 6 months can have a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are free for those people who are most likely to get very sick.

Yearly flu vaccinations are free at your GP, pharmacy or vaccination centre for: 

  • Māori and Pacific people aged 55+
  • Everyone aged 65+ 
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have a long-term medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition (aged 6 months+)
  • Children 4 years old or younger who have been hospitalised with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and RSV.

See a full eligibility criteria list here 


If you’re not eligible for a free flu vaccine, and not covered by an employer-funded programme, the flu vaccine  costs between $19 and $45 depending on the vaccine and provider. 

Contact your GP or local pharmacy to find out how much they charge and when you can book. 

Find your local flu vaccine provider 


What you need to know

When to get protected against the flu

For the best protection get a flu vaccine before winter, in preparation for the colder months. 

It takes around 2  weeks after your flu vaccination to be best protected.  

Do I need more than one flu vaccination to be protected? 

Most people, aged 9 years and over, need one vaccination each year to get good protection against flu.  

If you have a child under 9 -years -old, talk to your healthcare provider as they may need one of two vaccinations depending on if they’ve had a flu vaccine before. 


What to expect when you get your flu vaccine 

If your appointment is at your GP or healthcare provider, a nurse will most likely give you the vaccine. Many local pharmacists also give flu shots to people aged 13 and older.  

After your vaccination, you may be asked to wait for up to 20 minutes in the rare case that you may have a reaction. Many people aged 13 years and older will only need to wait 5 minutes. Children under 13 years will need to wait 20 minutes. 

Avoid driving, cycling, or using any other mobility device for 20 minutes after your vaccination.

See here for possible side effects


Steps everyone can take to stay well this winter

Along with getting the flu vaccine, there are other things you can do to protect your whānau and help reduce your risk of getting sick.

Guide to winter wellness