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

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news