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Get your flu jab now

'Get your flu jab now as you're never too fit to get hit'

The Asthma Foundation is strongly advising people with respiratory illnesses to try and stay out of hospital this winter by asking their doctor or nurse about a free influenza vaccination.

“The flu season will be kicking in soon and it is important for people with respiratory conditions to get their free flu vaccines this winter,” says Dr Kyle Perrin, medical director of the Asthma Foundation.

Last year over one million New Zealanders had a flu vaccination – around 23 percent of the population.

The flu vaccine is free for: children under the age of five with significant respiratory illnesses;

people with chronic health conditions; people with respiratory conditions;
people with asthma who use a preventer; and everyone 65 years and over.

“People with chronic health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at higher risk of complications from influenza than others.

For the best protection, we advise they get a flu vaccination now as immunisation typically takes up to two weeks to take effect. Influenza is a serious illness, every winter we see people admitted to hospital with the flu who are extremely unwell, and some require intensive care admission.“


“Also, we strongly advise that flu vaccinations are sorted out now for kids who have respiratory illnesses. Flu vaccinations are an essential part of effectively managing asthma and other respiratory illnesses well,” Dr
Perrin says.

“And no matter how ‘in shape’ we think we are, we’re still at risk. You’re never too fit to get hit!”

Free flu vaccines are available until the end of July. For further information contact Communications Consultant Cindy Borrie on 0274 433 905. Dr Kyle Perrin is available for interviews.

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