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Flu vaccination uptake continues


25 August 2009

Flu vaccination uptake continues

“Didn’t even hurt,” said 17 year old Terence Samasoni at the Influenza Vaccination Clinic at Cameron House last week. Terence was the last of the seven children in his family to get vaccinated, with five of the siblings being vaccinated last month.

Vaccinator Tina Tyacke was delighted to have the whole family protected. “We’ve worked with the GPs to get this clinic running to reach people who may find it hard to go to the medical centre,” she said. “Flu vaccination is still free at your medical centre right through till the end of winter and there is still a fair bit of flu in the community, so it’s worth protecting yourself,” she said. “The rates of flu in Pacific and Maori families have been relatively high in New Zealand, so we are particularly pleased that Terence and his family have opted to protect themselves.”

In July, the Government purchased and extra 125,000 doses of Influenza Vaccination, and extended the eligibility for free vaccination to include any New Zealand resident who wanted to be immunized. The offer continues until the end of September, or until the supplies are all used.

The free vaccine has increased community uptake of the influenza vaccine, with a record increase of more than 26% to date on previous years, according to the latest information from Pharmac. While the vaccine does not protect individuals from pandemic (‘swine’) influenza, it was expected to ease the numbers of people who will be seeking treatment for seasonal ills this year as well as reducing the numbers of hospital admissions. The vaccine protects against the other strains of influenza expected to prevail this season.

In July around 24% of the Wairarapa population had been vaccinated, with final figures expected later in September.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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