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

 

John McBeth: Our World Cup All Blacks

Forty or fifty years ago nobody really had any idea of what the selectors had in mind. There were often several trials, which sometimes featured over 150 players, possibly an inter island match or a final trial, then we listened to the announcement of the team on radio. The players weren't flown into the capital for a parliamentary function... More>>

ALSO:

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news