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

 

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>

Culture: RNZB Showcases NZ Artists With Two World Premieres

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opens on 22 May will showcase the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news