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Pharmacies offer vaccines to protect against serious disease

Pharmacies offer vaccines to protect against serious diseases

From this week, vaccines for whooping cough (pertussis) and meningococcal disease will be available from selected Amcal, Care Chemist, Life Pharmacy, Radius and Unichem pharmacies throughout New Zealand for a fee, administered by pharmacists who are fully trained vaccinators.

The move will help raise awareness of both whooping cough and meningococcal disease – serious diseases that can be life-threatening.

New born babies are at particular risk from whooping cough. In over 70% of cases, new born babies catch whooping cough from their parents or from other close family members. Boosting immunity among whānau and family caring for young infants can help protect against the spread of the disease to our most vulnerable.

The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine can be given by a pharmacist who is a trained vaccinator to adults over the age of 18 years and the meningococcal disease vaccine is able to be administered to those 16 years of age and above.

Alison Van Wyk, Head of Professional Services at Pharmacybrands believes increasing access to the vaccines is essential in helping protect the community against these life threatening diseases.

“We have a network of 250 trained, professional pharmacists who are qualified to vaccinate adults throughout the country. It’s about addressing some of our key public health needs and giving our communities more options.


“No appointment is needed and with extended opening hours, we encourage people to have a chat with their local pharmacist to ensure they get the right care and advice needed to assist with their health decisions.

“Giving people the option to get vaccinated in their local pharmacy will help raise awareness of these diseases and the importance of protecting ourselves, our families and whānau,” adds Ms Van Wyk.

The introduction of whooping cough and meningococcal vaccines builds on the successful launch of flu vaccinations through pharmacies in 2012. More than 8,500 New Zealanders visited an Amcal, Care Chemist, Life Pharmacy, Radius or Unichem pharmacy for their flu jab last year and more New Zealanders are expected to take up the opportunity this year.


ENDS

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