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


2014 influenza immunisation campaign

Health experts support pregnancy focus of 2014 influenza immunisation campaign

Health specialists are supporting the Government’s launch of the annual influenza immunisation campaign today at Wellington Regional Hospital’s high-risk maternity clinic.

A special focus of this year’s seasonal influenza immunisation programme is pregnant women and their newborn babies. Influenza vaccine has been used for many years in pregnant women, with no safety concerns, and can be given in any trimester.[1]

Healthy, pregnant women are up to 18 times more likely to be admitted to hospital when suffering from influenza than non-pregnant women.[2] New Zealand women have direct experience of this.

“Pregnant women are at particularly high risk of severe complications and death from influenza because of the changes that occur to their immune and other systems during pregnancy,” says Lesley Dixon, New Zealand College of Midwives spokesperson.

“Influenza immunisation in pregnancy also offers protection to the newborn baby during the first few months of life,” says National Influenza Specialist Group[3] spokesperson and virologist, Dr Lance Jennings.

“As well as pregnant women, we would particularly like to encourage all eligible adults, including younger people, who have ongoing medical conditions to consider free immunisation. Our research shows there is a degree of complacency among younger people in particular which we need to overcome to protect them. You are never too fit to get hit by influenza,” says Dr Jennings.

Influenza immunisation is free from a GP or nurse until July 31, 2014 for New Zealanders at high risk of complications – pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and anyone under 65 years of age, including children six months and older, with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers.

The influenza vaccine for 2014 Southern Hemisphere season includes two new strains based upon recommendations from the World Health Organization on the strains most likely to spread and cause illness in people this season. These are newly included in the vaccine, not new or novel viruses. The composition is:

– A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
– A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus (New)
– B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus (New)


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Time Of The Ensigns: Wellington City Council Flies The Flags

At noon on Monday the five flag options for the first referendum were hoisted over the Wellington Town Hall. The wind did not disappoint and the contenders for the new ensign contender spot flapped happily in a spring wind. More>>


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news