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Unlike a common cold, influenza (flu) is a serious illness that affects millions of people globally, and young children, pregnant women, older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable. By joining the WellKiwis Household study, you and your whanāu could help improve the health of New Zealand and the rest of the world, prevent future pandemics, develop more effective and longer-lasting flu vaccines and save lives.

What is the WellKiwis Household study?

The WellKiwis Household study aims to see how a person’s prior exposure to the flu virus (or vaccine) influences their ongoing immune responses to subsequent exposures to the flu. It will also help us understand how the flu and other respiratory viruses (including COVID-19) spreads from an infected person to others in a household setting.

Can my family take part in the study?

To join the study, we are looking for families:

  • living in the Wellington region
  • who have at least one household member aged 19 or younger.

The study will follow families for up to seven years.

The study is led by scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

Throughout the study, we ensure you and your whanāu receive fantastic benefits.

What are the benefits of taking part in this study for my family?

  • You and your family or whanāu will have healthcare professionals looking out for your well-being for the duration of the study.
  • Every time a participating family member catches a cold or flu during flu season, a nurse will be in contact and may come and visit you at home to take a swab.
  • You will find out quickly if your participating family members are infected with the flu or another respiratory virus (including COVID-19) and get access to the right support to keep them healthy and well.
  • You and your family or whanāu will be part of a global study to provide information towards making longer-lasting flu vaccines, hopefully, the universal flu vaccine. 
  • You and your whanāu will receive a $30 eGift card each time a sample is taken to thank you for your time and participation. Each family member receives a gift card for each sample provided.
  • We regularly hand out gifts such as books when we come and visit your family or whanāu.

Register your family’s interest by clicking on the “join now” button below.

Join now (external link)

FAQs WellKiwis: Household study [PDF, 465 KB]

Study Timeline: WellKiwis Household study [PDF, 229 KB]

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the team, please contact us:

Email: wellkiwis@esr.cri.nz
Phone: 0800 493 555 (08004WELLKIWI)