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Extra vaccination supply welcomed

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Extra vaccination supply welcomed, but will not go far

Any amount of fully effective influenza vaccination is welcomed, but the extra 50,000 doses announced today will only provide a small proportion of the full coverage needed, the New Zealand Medical Association said today.

“General Practice will work hard with the Ministry of Health to identify those people who will best benefit from this vaccination,” said NZMA GP Council Chairman Dr Peter Foley.

“The Ministry of Health is doing the best that it can given the unfortunate situation that it has found itself in. However, this is of little comfort to the many people who will remain uncertain about the effectiveness of the altered vaccination programme this year.

“We are relieved that the 2005 influenza vaccination programme has been confirmed. The influenza vaccination programme is an important one, and we need to avoid destroying the faith in and support for the vaccine that has developed, with General Practice support, amongst our elderly and chronically ill.

“The lateness of this year’s influenza vaccination programme will put General Practice under extra pressure at a time when it will already be very busy in many parts of New Zealand with the meningococcal vaccination programme,” Dr Foley said.

“We hope that the lateness of the programme, as we approach the autumn season, does not compromise the downstream effects on the health of the public over winter, or put extra strain on our public health system, including General Practice and our public hospitals”

ENDS

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