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

 

Flu vaccinations available until August 31

Flu vaccinations available until August 31, just as flu numbers are rising

Canterbury District Health Board says it’s great news that flu vaccinations are now available until 31 August. They are free for pregnant women, people 65 and over and those with chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, mental health issues etc).

In Canterbury only, they will also be free for under 18s until the end of August.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says that influenza infections can peak in August or September in New Zealand.

“This extra time gives people more opportunity to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their whānau before that happens. Don’t wait until flu numbers start to climb in Canterbury as they already have in other parts of the South Island – the best possible immunity takes up to two weeks to develop so the sooner you get vaccinated, the sooner you will be protected.

General practices are busy at this time of year so it is best to call ahead and book a time for yours and your family’s flu shot.”

Some recent research suggests that 40 percent of New Zealanders think they are fit and healthy enough to ride out or even fight off flu. Anecdotally, people who have actually had flu recently are often first in line to get vaccinated the following year.

“We could all learn from the wisdom of our elders: Three quarters of over 65s get vaccinated each year, probably because they have had flu before and don’t want to repeat the experience,” says Dr Humphrey.

“Flu is a serious and sometimes severe illness well worth avoiding and can hit young and healthy people hard as well as the people they may have passed it on to. Imagine how it would feel knowing you were the one that brought it home, to work or to school?”

“Getting vaccinated now could spare you an unpleasant week off work and probably more time off later looking after a sick partner or children. Even if you are prepared to play ‘flu roulette’ yourself, think about others - if you can’t get it you can’t give it,” he says.

“If you do gamble on avoiding flu and lose, please stay at home – stay warm, drink plenty of fluids and take paracetamol for pain and fever. Phone your usual general practice team number for advice or help if you need it, out of hours a registered nurse will take your call and advise you what to do.

“Whatever you do, don’t visit someone in hospital or a rest home while you are sick. No one will thank you for bringing them flu and our earthquake damaged Canterbury hospitals would struggle to cope if it spread.

“We are asking people to do what they can to stay out of hospital so services are available for people who have no choice but to be there. One of the simplest things you can do to help is to have your flu vaccination,” Dr Humphrey says.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland