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Cancer Society reminder that the flu vaccine is free for most cancer patients

This year’s national influenza (flu) rollout began on Friday 1 April 2022, which means that flu vaccinations are now available in preparation for the winter season when flu is most likely to be spreading in the community.

The Cancer Society would like to remind cancer patients that the flu vaccine is free for people with some long term health conditions which includes cancer (excluding those with basal and squamous skin cancers if it is not invasive).

You can get your free flu vaccine from your GP, whānau doctor or healthcare provider. Many pharmacies also offer the free flu vaccine for people aged 13 and over.

Flu is a serious illness that effects your whole body and can make you very sick. Just like the COVID-19 vaccine, the flu vaccine will not completely stop you getting flu, but it does reduce your chances of getting flu and should stop you getting so sick that you need to go to hospital.  

It takes up to 2 weeks after you get the vaccine for your body to start protecting you against flu. That is why you should get your flu vaccine now, before the winter flu season, for your best protection.

Where can I get more information about flu vaccines? 

You can get more information about flu and the vaccine on the Ministry of Health’s websites:

You can also call Healthline for advice on 0800 611 116 anytime, or visit