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

 


Free flu immunisation ends soon

August 13, 2014

Free flu immunisation ends soon

New Zealanders eligible for free influenza immunisation have only a short time left to be vaccinated before the Government-subsidised campaign ends for this year on August 31.

The National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG) says more than 1.2 million doses of vaccine have been distributed already this year resulting in an estimated 27 percent of the population receiving immunisation (as at August 1).

NISG spokesperson and general practitioner, Dr Nikki Turner, says it is still worthwhile being immunised, even this late in the season.

“We are now seeing many cases of influenza in the community and, sadly, people have died or been admitted to intensive care already with influenza symptoms this year. Influenza is much more than a ‘bad cold’. It is a serious disease that can lead to complications, especially for people with ongoing medical conditions.”

Influenza usually has symptoms such as a sudden onset of illness, high fever, headache, a dry cough and illness usually lasts 7-10 days.

People who are fit and healthy are still at risk from influenza.

“No-one is too fit to get hit. And just because you’ve never had ‘flu’ before doesn’t mean you can’t catch it. All it takes is for an infected person to cough or sneeze near you or near something you touch within a few hours.”

“The seasonal vaccine has a good safety profile and is between 59% and 73% effective against influenza in healthy adults for years when the circulating and vaccine strains are well matched. The predominant A (H1N1) strain is covered in this year’s vaccine.”

Influenza vaccinations are free from a doctor or nurse for New Zealanders until the end of August 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
• 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.
• In Canterbury, those under 18 are also eligible for free influenza vaccine.

Influenza immunisation will be available after August 31 for a small charge from a doctor, nurse or in some pharmacies.

“Contrary to a widely-held myth, you cannot get influenza from the vaccine, as it does not contain any live virus. Unfortunately some people may be incubating a common cold when vaccinated and then develop respiratory symptoms due to a non-influenza virus.”

For free health advice, call Healthline 0800 611 116. For advice about influenza immunisation visit www.fightflu.co.nz or text FLU to 515.

Additional information about Influenza
Influenza or ‘flu can be a serious illness – it’s more than a “bad cold”. Anyone can catch it – even the fit and healthy.

Influenza SymptomsCold Symptoms
Sudden onset of illness. Moderate to severe illness lasting 7-10 daysMild illness
Fever (usually high)Mild fever
Headache (may be severe)Mild headache (congested sinuses)
Dry cough may become moistSometimes a cough
Muscle achesMuscle aches uncommon
ShiveringA runny nose
Bed rest necessary
Can suffer severe complications (e.g. pneumonia)

National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG)
NISG was formed in 2000 by the Ministry of Health to increase public awareness of influenza, its seriousness and the importance of immunisation to prevent the disease.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Fringe Review: Rossum’s Universal Robots

Written in 1920 by Karel Capek in a newly independent Czechoslovakia, its prophetic tale of artificial intelligence, automata and human morality was initially a big hit, but it then vanished from view, in New Zealand at least, before being revived in Hamilton last year. More>>

SELECT FRINGE SHOWS:

Pictures Of Media: Call For Photographs For Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing. More>>

Safer Internet Day: Keeping Safe Online More Important Than Ever

Tuesday 9 February marks Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is designed to create awareness about the importance of Internet safety and encourages positive use of technology - with a strong focus on young people. More>>

ALSO:

We Have The Technology: Zephyrometer Up And Moving

“The needle’s stoppers had to be repaired because of the extra impact caused by the balance not being correct. We also added an extra 300kgs counter-balance – made from zinc coated steel triangle plates. These adjustments will now stop it bending low over the road in high winds.” More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Treaty Of Waitangi - Found In Translation

To celebrate the Society of Translators and Interpreters's 30th anniversary, over 90 translators will work together to translate the English and Māori versions of the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages... More>>

ALSO:

Northland Development: Trust Applauds $4m Government Funding For Art Centre

Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news