Tuku Awhikiri

  • About
  • Latest News

The Immunisation Service Level Alliance (Immunisation SLA) is the guardian of the immunisation service across Canterbury, aiming to increase immunisation coverage to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases. The Immunisation SLA focuses on normalising immunisation over a lifetime and reaching specific health and performance targets. This includes:

  • All immunisation programmes in Canterbury funded by health funding
  • The Seasonal Influenza Programme, both subsidised and non-subsidised
  • Vaccination of the health workforce
  • Any necessary immunisation events to manage outbreaks

Immunisation plays an important role in the Canterbury health system’s objectives to support people to take greater responsibility for their own health and stay well in their own homes and communities. Immunisation can prevent a number of diseases and is a very cost-effective health intervention.

The Immunisation SLA was established in 2010 and provides strategic planning, design, prioritisation and implementation oversight of immunisation services across the Canterbury health system, including recommendations for how services will be funded. As part of this, the Immunisations SLA developed an Immunisation Outcomes Framework and is set key performance targets each year by the Ministry of Health. Implementation of endorsed recommendations and decisions is by the Immunisation Providers Group or Canterbury District Health Board Planning and Funding.

Latest News

Cantabrians asked to be patient while flu vaccine is distributed

02 Apr, 2020 | Return|

Canterbury District Health Board is asking Cantabrians to be patient while the health system works to resolve delays with the distribution of the flu vaccine across the region.

Stock has been held up in the supply chain, affecting DHBs around the country. This means a significant number of General Practice teams and pharmacies do not have vaccine available at the moment to fulfil the demand from the community.

“It’s great that Cantabrians are keen to do the right thing and get their flu vaccine early this year. It is, however, unfortunate that we are unable to meet the demand at this time,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink.

According to the Ministry of Health, more than 800,000 influenza vaccines have been distributed to vaccination providers across the country. Around 30,000 Cantabrians have received their flu shot since it was released in mid-March.

“General Practice teams, pharmacies and workplace vaccinators are all adapting the way they work under the current national alert level 4 for COVID-19. As vaccine supplies are replenished, they will continue to prioritise those who are most at-risk of developing a serious illness from influenza and COVID-19, before the vaccine is made available to the wider community,” says Dr Pink.

The following groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination:

  • people aged 65 years and over
  • pregnant women
  • anyone with certain chronic health conditions
  • children under four with a history of severe respiratory illness.

Frontline health workers are also encouraged to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible. The flu vaccine should be available for the wider public from Monday 13 April.

“We recommend Cantabrians wait until their General Practice team or pharmacist contacts them about their flu vaccination. For those planning to drop in to their local pharmacy, please call ahead before visiting in person,” says Dr Pink.

The national influenza immunisation programme normally starts in April, and the flu season normally starts in late May.

More stock of the flu vaccine is expected to be available over the next couple of weeks.

The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, however, it can help prevent a serious illness from flu and help reduce demand on the health system.


General advice for staying well

Help keep yourself, your whānau and your community healthy by:

  • regularly washing your hands with soap and water
  • thoroughly drying your hands after washing them
  • sneezing and coughing into a tissue, clothing or your elbow
  • staying home if you feel unwell.

About the Author


It’s not too late to protect yourself against the flu

It’s not too late to protect yourself against the flu

More than a third of Cantabrians have had their flu immunisation already this winter and there’s st...

Read More >
Catch up on your free vaccination to avoid catching measles

Catch up on your free vaccination to avoid catching measles

If you’re between 15 and 30 years old and haven’t had your MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, ...

Read More >
Useful resources

Work Plan 2021-22

For Immunisation SLA. Read full CCN work plan.


LinKIDS helps connect families to health services in Canterbury.

Measles immunisation posters

Measles posters - get immunised here for free.