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SHIVERS influenza (flu) and respiratory virus research

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The ESR-led SHIVERS projects are aimed at improving the understanding of influenza and respiratory viruses and how to prevent their spread. 


New Zealand is an ideal location to study influenza and other respiratory viruses because:

  • New Zealand has very comprehensive and up-to-date electronic medical records.
  • ESR has good and productive relationships with other collaborating organisations that allow for study development, implementation, and approval.
  • New Zealand's influenza season often predicts what will happen in the northern hemisphere.

The ESR-led Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study, based in the greater Auckland area from 2012-2017, was the largest and most comprehensive influenza research initiative conducted in the Southern Hemisphere at the time. SHIVERS was a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary collaboration aiming to better understand influenza and other respiratory viruses and related illness in the hope of curbing future outbreaks and pandemics. Learn more about this SHIVERS 2012-2016 study.



About the SHIVERS-II study

The purpose of the new SHIVERS-II study is to better understand the immunity or protection people have against the flu through infection or vaccination. Findings of SHIVERS-II will help the New Zealand government make choices about what and when it is best to recommend for people to get their current flu vaccinations (shots). The study will also provide information that can be used to make better flu vaccines in the future.

The New Zealand Health & Disability Ethics Committee has approved SHIVERS-II (NTX11.11.102.AM25). SHIVERS-II is funded by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Contract #HHSN272201400006C). 

Information for SHIVERS-II participants

For those participating in the SHIVERS-II study, you can find the study documents, contact details and other information on the SHIVERS-II study contacts and documents webpage.


SHIVERS-II objectives

  • To understand differences in how the immune system responds to the 2018 flu vaccine based on differences in participants’ histories of previous influenza vaccinations.
  • To understand differences in how the immune system responds to infections with the flu based on differences in participants’ histories of previous influenza vaccinations.

Meet the SHIVERS-II team

SHIVERS-II is multi-agency collaboration including general practices in Wellington, as well as Compass Health (external link) , ESR, the Universities of Auckland (external link)  and Otago (external link) Regional Public Health (external link) , the Capital Coast District Health Board (external link) , and SJCEIRS (external link) . SHIVERS-II is being funded by the United States National Institutes of Health (US NIH) through the St. Jude Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (SJCEIRS) in Memphis.


From left to right: Dr. Nayyereh Aminisani, Dr. Claire Newbern, Associate Professor Nikki Turner, Professor Tony Dowell, Robert Press, Dr. Terry Quirk, Dr. Sue Huang


Logos of participating agencies