Virologist Lance Jennings says New Zealand will be well stocked with a vaccine to protect from a killer flu virus that could be on its way.
Twenty children died in the United States last week as a result of influenza, which is at epidemic levels in some states.
Dr Jennings, of the National Influenza Strategy Group, said the virus is similar to the Victoria strain, which caused a mild to moderate epidemic in New Zealand last year. He said the virus is likely to strike again this winter.
Dr Jennings said a new vaccine, which is to be released in late February or early March, will be effective protection.