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

 


Free Flu Immunisation Ends July 31

Free Flu Immunisation Ends July 31

New Zealanders eligible for free influenza immunisation have less than a week left to be vaccinated before the Government-subsidised campaign ends for this year on July 31.

The National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG)1 says a record 1.25 million doses of vaccine have been distributed already this year resulting in an estimated 29 percent of the population receiving immunisation (as at July 5).

NISG says that it is pleased to see health professionals are also leading by example this season. More than 80 per cent of GPs surveyed in the latest New Zealand Doctor/IMS Health fax poll have been vaccinated in 2013, and most (65 per cent) estimate more than three-quarters of the staff at their practice have been too.

“Many vulnerable people are, however, still unprotected, and this is a concern as we are seeing more cases of influenza in the community now,” comments Dr Lance Jennings, a virologist and spokesperson for NISG.

“People, especially those at greatest risk from flu complications or those in contact with people who are at high risk from flu, should be immunised as soon as possible. Influenza cases traditionally begin to rise sharply at this time of year and it can take up to two weeks to develop protection after vaccination.”

Influenza vaccinations are free from a doctor or nurse for New Zealanders until the end of July if you are in one of these groups:

·        People aged 65 and over
·        Anyone under 65 years of age (including children) with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers
Pregnant women
Children aged from six months and up to five years of age who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

Anyone who wants to be immunised against influenza after July 31 will have to pay a small charge to get it from their doctor, nurse or in some pharmacies.

Dr Jennings 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. Influenza usually has symptoms such as a sudden onset of illness, high fever, headache, a dry cough and illness usually lasts 7-10 days.

He says that three types of influenza virus currently in circulation are covered by the 2013 seasonal influenza vaccine.

“Contrary to a widely-held myth, you cannot get influenza from the vaccine, as it does not contain any live virus. Unfortunately some people may be incubating a common cold when vaccinated and then develop respiratory symptoms due to a non-influenza virus.”

For free health advice, call Healthline 0800 611 116.  For advice about influenza immunisation visit www.fightflu.co.nz or text FLU to 515.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

TV3 Video: NZ Praised For Sportsmanship After Cricket World Cup Final Loss

New Zealand may have been outplayed in the Cricket World Cup final by Australia, but received praise worldwide for their graciousness in defeat. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Werewolf: Finding Love In Hell

Will it really be 25 years in May since David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won big at Cannes, nabbing no less than the Palme d’Or? Amazing but true, and yet the film that was briefly Lynch’s most feted, now seems to be his most forgotten. More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news