New reports outline major issues with NZ's recent vaccination rollouts

Two reports have identified major issues with the country's measles and flu vaccine rollout.

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Record numbers of people were vaccinated in this year’s flu campaign and hundreds during the 2019 measles outbreak. Source: 1 NEWS

The reports - released by the Ministry of Health - find flaws in the distribution chain and conflicting information from officials.

It comes as record numbers of people were vaccinated in this year's flu campaign - on top of hundreds in last year's measles outbreak - but many frontline staff have always been highly critical of how the programmes played out.

"There are definitely issues that need to be rectified, especially around the distribution of vaccines," Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Medical Director Bryan Betty said.

The reports now back these statements up.

Last year New Zealand's largest measles outbreak in decades led to a big push to get people immunised.

A report into the campaign found it was "ad hoc and lacked good preparation".

It also found that communication was "unclear, conflicting and inconsistent" especially in relation to vaccine supply and availability.

Many of these issues cropped up again during this year's flu vaccine roll out, with another report vindicating what doctors have been saying for months.

It found there was no ability to track and trace flu vaccines and described "extreme" frustration at an inefficient distribution chain with orders cancelled and delayed.

The report highlighted mixed messages around officials pushing patients to get vaccinated - only to find out there was no stock.

"I don’t think the public was misled at all,” Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says.

"I myself didn’t see emails about flu distribution issues before we announced the campaign. We were keen to get the campaign underway; we had the vaccine and we wanted to start vaccinating people.”

Health Minister Chris Hipkins hopes the issues outlined in the reports will be fixed in the future.

“Steps are being put in place to make sure those sort of things are improved.”

The next challenge will be fixing all the problems in hopes a Covid-19 vaccine is found.