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

 


Canterbury leading the way in flu prevention

CDHBLogo50

MEDIA RELEASE

July 8, 2013

Canterbury leading the way in flu prevention

New Zealanders are getting behind the influenza immunisation campaign this year like never before and Canterbury is leading from the front.

Dr Lance Jennings, virologist and spokesperson for the National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG), says this has been a record-breaking season with around 1.24 million people vaccinated in New Zealand so far.

“But we mustn’t be complacent and think the job is done. The current vaccination rate, impressive as it is, may slow the spread of influenza but it won’t stop it,” Dr Jennings says.

“Roughly half of those vaccinated so far (640,000) were eligible for free vaccination –an impressive increase over last year’s uptake. However, many vulnerable people are still unprotected and this is a concern as we head into flu season.”

Dr Jennings says it makes good sense to get immunised before influenza starts to take hold in our community.

“Influenza cases traditionally begin to rise sharply at this time of year and it can take up to two weeks to develop protection after you have been vaccinated,” he says.

In the Canterbury health district:

· More than 30 percent of under 18s are already protected, including those all-important under fives

· 74 percent of people 65 or older have prepared for a healthier winter

· Canterbury vaccinators have ordered enough vaccine for 42 percent of the population and fully expect to use it all

· More people are taking influenza seriously and are getting immunised each year – and it’s not just those at greatest risk who are eligible for free vaccination.


Influenza vaccinations are free from your General Practice team until the end of July for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and anyone with a long-term health condition such as heart disease, diabetes or respiratory illness. In Canterbury children aged from six months to 18 years of age are also free.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury medical officer of health, says everyone should get themselves immunised against influenza.

“The school holidays are the perfect time to take your children to your general practice for their flu shot and get yours at the same time but make sure you call your GP team early to book – it’s a busy time of year for them,” Dr Pink says.

“If you don’t get your vaccination free, getting a flu shot will typically cost $30 to $50 at most general practices and it’s also available in some pharmacies. It could be the best investment you make this winter and save you a miserable week off work, followed by more time off as the family come down with it.”

Dr Pink says influenza shouldn’t be confused with common colds or other respiratory viruses often seen at this time of year. Influenza is a serious disease, especially for people with underlying medical conditions. It can make their condition much worse and lead to hospitalisation and even death.

“Contrary to a widely-held myth, you cannot get influenza from the vaccine, as it does not contain any live virus. People who do become sick are more likely to have been incubating another winter respiratory illness such as a common cold, which then gets worse,” Dr Pink says.

“Many Canterbury people have really stepped up this winter – but if you’re not one of them, it’s not too late to get yourself, your family and your community flu strong. Kia kaha i te hōtoke nei, kia whawhai tonu mātou i te rewharewha nei – Be strong this winter, let's fight against influenza.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news