Dr Jeff Lowe Dr Jeff Lowe CREDIT: RedPR
Andrew Gaudin Andrew Gaudin CREDIT: RedPR

Covid Booster and Flu Vaccinations A Positive Move But A Challenging Time Ahead

Monday 27 June 2022, 7:48PM
By RedPR

The Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa (FPHANZ) says making flu shots available to more New Zealanders and the second Covid booster roll out are positive moves however is sounding a word of caution.

From this Friday, around another 800,000 New Zealanders will be eligible for a free flu vaccine, and from tomorrow the Government is also rolling out a second Covid-19 booster vaccine for older New Zealanders. Both will be available at GPs and pharmacies across the country.

Federation board member and Chair of General Practice NZ, Dr Jeff Lowe, says he expects a challenging first few days however as people become vaccinated, particularly from the flu, there is likely to be a lessening of pressure on the health system.

“GPs are still under a lot of pressure staffing wise and the number of patients we are seeing so this is going to be tough initially for everyone but we have got through some really difficult times over the last couple of years and I am sure we can do it again,” he says.

Federation board member and Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin, says “This is a routine activity for community pharmacies, and they remain ready, willing and able to fully support those needing this important service in our communities.”

He adds, “The Guild supports the government move to widen access to free flu vaccines for children aged 3 to 12 and people with serious mental health and addiction needs, and a second Covid-19 booster for those at risk of severe illness from Covid-19. This will help to keep New Zealanders healthy and well, and will reduce pressures on our hospitals, which are currently being stretched to their limits. Community pharmacies continue to provide a convenient, accessible and trusted option for people to get their Covid-19 and flu vaccinations.”


Our Mission | Mīhana
To make comprehensive primary health care the foundation of the New Zealand health system.

Who we are:
The Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa is New Zealand’s peak body for Primary and Community Care. We promote health and wellbeing, on behalf of members for the benefit of the population of New Zealand.

In 2018, 70 of New Zealand’s primary health and community care leaders representing PHO’s, pharmacy, midwifery, allied health, nursing and others came together to form the Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa New Zealand. The organisation was initially chaired by Dame Annette
King. The current chair is Hon Steve Chadwick.

Post COVID and with the health system review well underway, the reach and membership of the
Federation is now being expanded to all areas of primary and community health including: Aged care, Wellness, Community health, NGO’s, Mental health, Maori, Iwi, Disability, Professional organisations.

The Federation is an all-encompassing peak body that requires members to set aside their separate sector interests – putting person-centred care before all else. We aim to influence the discussion in primary care policy throughout New Zealand. Our membership represents providers of primary and community care.

The Federation was established to bring together organisations and stakeholders from across the
primary health and community care sector for the benefit of the health and well-being of all New
Zealanders. We believe fostering effective partnerships with communities and promoting integrated multi-agency and multi-professional health services is the way forward. The Federation is committed to providing an interactive forum that enables collaboration and partnership; endorses co-design with communities; facilitates the sharing of information, knowledge, and resources; promotes good practice and equitable health outcomes; and contributes to the development and implementation of health policy.

Following the adoption of the Constitution on 29 March 2021, some Board members have
transitioned, and others have been co-opted.They will hold their positions until the next Annual
General Meeting which is to be held before November 2022. An election process will take place.

Current board members:
Hon. Steve Chadwick (Independent Chair)
Dr Angus Chambers – GP / ChCh Primary Health Organisation (PHO)
Andrew Gaudin – CE of the Pharmacy Guild
Karen Guilliland – College of Midwives
Dr Jeff Lowe - GP / Chair General Practice New Zealand
Don Matheson - Public Health and Primary Health Care System Consultant
Jenny Carryer - College of Nurses Aotearoa
Teresa Wall - Māori Health Consultant / Director Wall Consultants
Ngāpei Ngatai - Kaimnāki Oranga COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE