News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Immunisation Week: thousands of Kiwi kids saved from disease

Media release

World Immunisation Week marks thousands of Kiwi kids saved from disease

22 April 2013: While there will always be concerns about how to improve population health, World Immunisation Week is a good time to note New Zealand success in saving thousands of children from serious diseases, Dr Stewart Reid, a general practitioner and former long-term immunisation advisor to the Ministry of Health, said today.

“Because you don’t actually see the benefits in a child who might otherwise have been unwell, it’s easy to forget how many healthy children would have been sick or dead if not for our National Immunisation Programme,” he said.

“For example, without measles vaccinations over the last ten years we would have seen another 200-600 deaths and 300 cases of brain damage,” he said.1

“We are also seeing great success with more recently introduced vaccines. For instance, since the introduction of pneumococcal vaccination in 2008 there has been a 97% reduction in severe diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia and blood poisoning caused by vaccine targets in kids younger than two years.2 New Zealand studies are also currently assessing the impact on debilitating childhood ear infections, where we hope to see a significant reduction.

“Overall, national vaccination coverage of two-year-olds has increased from around 50% in 2007 to nearly 95% in 2012; with these improvements we can expect to see further reductions in vaccine-preventable disease.3

“These gains are a real cause for celebration. The overall reduction in disease will have huge benefits for the people directly affected, families, and costs to the broader community.”

The World Health Organization, who organise World Immunisation Week, has found that only clean water and antibiotics have had as big an impact on childhood death and diseases as vaccines.4

New Zealand has seen big gains in immunisation coverage and timeliness, expanded funding for whooping cough and flu vaccines and growing support for recent calls for funding of new vaccines, such as the rotavirus vaccine.3,5–7

“New Zealand is succeeding because of a strong national commitment to disease prevention, the engagement of DHBs and general practitioners in good systems for early enrolment, and the support of parents and the public who want to ensure children are protected,” he said.

ENDS


Note to editors


References
1. Turner N. Immunisation: Brief Update. Presentation at the Goodfellow Symposium, March 2013, Auckland. Available at: http://www.goodfellowsymposium.org/presentations/. Accessed 22 April 2013.

2. Ministry of Health. HealthEd, Childhood Immunisation 2011. Available at: https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resource/childhood-immunisation. Accessed 18 April 2013.

3. Ministry of Health. Targeting Immunisation: Increased Immunisation. Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/targeting-immunisation-increased-immunisation. Accessed 18 April 2013.

4. Plotkin S, Orenstein W, Offit P. Chapter 1 - A short history of vaccination. Expert Consult. Vaccines. 2011.

5. Ministry of Health. Fax to GPs – Free pertussis vaccination for pregnant women, 2013 flu programme, IMAC holiday hours 2012. Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/immunisation/updates-immunisation. Accessed 18 April 2013.

6. PHARMAC. Amendment to influenza vaccine funding criteria 2013. Available at: http://www.immune.org.nz/news/amendment-influenza-vaccine-funding-criteria. Accessed 18 April 2013.

7. Paediatric Society of New Zealand. Paediatric Society Position Statement on Rotavirus Immunisation 2013. Available at: http://www.paediatrics.org.nz/files/2013/Rotavirus%20Immunisation%20Position%20FINAL%202013.pdf. Accessed 18 April 2013.


Dr Stewart Reid

Since 1978, Stewart has been and still is a Lower Hutt GP who has dabbled in vaccinology since 1980. He has been involved in advising government on vaccination policy and has played a role in writing the NZ Immunisation Handbook. He has also played a part in the Group B meningococcal vaccination programme and in the licensure of several vaccines in current and past use in NZ.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news