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


Plunket encourages Kiwis to take advantage of free vaccine

Plunket encourages Kiwis to stay healthy with free winter flu vaccine

New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the well-being of children under five is encouraging New Zealanders at greatest risk of catching influenza to get immunized this winter, and protect themselves from the illness for free.

The government yesterday announced the free winter flu vaccine programme will be extended to the end of August as winter flu cases are rising and have yet to peak.

The vaccination is free to those at greatest risk of serious influenza complications, including those over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with on-going health conditions such as asthma, and children under five years who have been hospitalized for a respiratory illness.

“This is a chance for New Zealanders who have yet to be immunized to protect themselves from a serious illness”, says Plunket clinical advisor Allison Jamieson. “Influenza kills around 400 New Zealanders, directly or indirectly, each year – so it’s not something we should take lightly”.

“We strongly advise expectant mums to get the free vaccination. Babies under 6 months old are too young to be immunised so if their mums are vaccinated they can pass protection on to their baby.

“A lot of changes occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy. Changes to lung function, changes to immunity and increased heart output and oxygen consumption place pregnant woman at particularly high risk of severe complications. Pregnant women with other medical conditions are at even greater risk of severe influenza-related illness”.

The government is reporting that A-H1N1 appears to be the most common strain of influenza which affects adults and young children more severely than other strains. The winter flu vaccine covers the A-H1N1 strain.

The vaccine was due to be funded until 31 July and is now available until the end of August.

People who are not eligible for the free vaccine can purchase it from their general practitioner or selected pharmacies.

For more information visit or or call 0800 IMMUNE 0800 466 863.

– ENDS –

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


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>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news