Don't overlook us!
Last year, Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health announced that some people with mental health and addiction issues can be eligible for a free flu vaccination. The specific eligibility criteria includes:
“Anyone with schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or anyone currently accessing secondary or tertiary mental health and addiction services, can get a free flu jab.” – Manatū Hauora
From April 1, the 2023 influenza vaccine is available to the general population. If you are wanting a get a flu vaccination and believe you maybe be eligible for the funded vaccine, please talk to a member of your mental health or AOD clinical team, pharmacist, doctor or other support. Where to go for walk-in vaccination, and more information about eligibility can be found at www.health.govt.nz/flu
We also want to encourage whānau, services and the health workforce to be proactive and support tāngata whai ora to ask about the funded flu vaccine through the service, a GP, pharmacy, or pop-up clinic. Using the SEE US campaign, we have now adapted the posters to highlight the fact that flu vaccines are funded and very important for people with mental health & addiction issues, and to promote uptake.
For health professionals, the Immunisation Advisory Centre has developed a 2023 flu kit booklet, which includes new information on the importance of influenza vaccination for those with serious mental health conditions. This can be found on their website here.