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

 


Healthcare workers gearing up to fight flu

Healthcare workers gearing up to fight flu

Healthcare workers at district health boards around the country are gearing up to fight influenza or ‘flu’ this winter – and some DHBs are reporting increased uptake in influenza vaccination by their staff so far.

The Ministry of Health strongly encourages healthcare workers to be vaccinated - to protect their patients, but also themselves, their families and friends. In 2013, an average of 58 percent of DHB healthcare workers was vaccinated.

Virus expert and National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG) [1] spokesperson, Dr Lance Jennings says healthcare workers should be immunised as they are likely to come in contact with people who are vulnerable to complications from influenza such as the very young, the elderly, pregnant women and those with ongoing medical conditions.

“We’re seeing an increasing trend for healthcare workers to be immunised against influenza,” he says.

Canterbury DHB reports it has already vaccinated almost 6,000 staff or around 65 percent and its programme is continuing. In 2013, the DHB vaccinated 75 percent of its staff by the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Waikato DHB says it is making very good progress with its campaign, having already vaccinated 51 percent of its staff. The DHB is within sight of its previous year’s total of 53 percent of staff.

Auckland DHB is also on track to exceed its previous year’s total with staff vaccinations currently at 60 percent and Phase Two of its campaign about to begin. The DHB has seen a particularly good uptake this year among nursing and midwifery staff.

Dr Jennings says that while the hospitals are gearing up for winter it’s also important that at-risk groups in the community protect themselves as soon as possible so they don’t end up in hospital.

“Although the weather has been mild so far, winter is not far away and it can take up to 14 days from vaccination to build immunity. We strongly advise people to to talk to their doctor or nurse now to arrange a flu vaccination, which is free for many people.”

Influenza vaccinations are free for New Zealanders from a doctor or nurse 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
All 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.

“Children, especially, should be vaccinated as soon as possible as they may need two doses of vaccine spaced apart if they have not been vaccinated before.”

Dr Jennings says influenza viruses are circulating at a low level in New Zealand at the moment but that this year’s vaccine is well matched to the virus strains identified so far.

“Influenza immunisation is effective and is still your best protection against this serious disease.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Rio Olympics

Were you pretty excited earlier this week when Vietnam won its first ever Olympic gold medal? Hanoi, reportedly, went wild... Perhaps we should keep Vietnam’s golden moment in mind as we gear up for saturation media coverage of New Zealand’s medal achievements in Rio. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news