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Waikato ‘Flu Jabs’ Rates Looking Promising

Waikato ‘Flu Jabs’ Rates Looking Promising


The number of Waikato people who have been immunised against influenza this year is already the second highest in six years, with nearly three months to go.

Just over 76,000 people – or 20 per cent of the Waikato population – had their ‘flu jabs’ in the period ending Friday 2 May.

“At this rate, Waikato should comfortably pass the 95,000 vaccinations administered last year,” said Waikato District Health Board public health medicine specialist Dr Felicity Dumble.

“Nationally, for the same period (until 2 May) the numbers tell us that 20 per cent of New Zealand has been immunised against influenza, compared to 27 per cent at 31 July 2013.”

Dr Dumble urged as many Waikato people as possible to take advantage of the widely accessible influenza immunisation programme before 31 July.

“The sooner you are immunised, the sooner you are protected against this deadly virus,” she said.

You can get the vaccine at your general practice or some pharmacies for a small cost.

If you are over 65 or in a high risk group (i.e. pregnant or have a respiratory condition), it will be free. Some workplaces also offer a free immunisation programme for staff.

“Influenza is not the common cold. While head colds and similar viruses are not nice, influenza is very serious and can make you extremely unwell,” said Dr Dumble.

Symptoms include fever, chills, aches, runny nose, a cough and upset stomach.

To prevent the spread of influenza and other winter illnesses, stay at home until you are better and follow basic hygiene practices:

• Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and dry them for 20 seconds – or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Don’t share drinks.
• Avoid crowded places.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – then put the tissue in a lined bin and wash your hands.
Respiratory virus monitoring at Waikato Hospital also reports little incidence of respiratory virus around the region at the moment.

Read the reports here

ENDS

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Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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