Immunisation Week is focused on protecting baby during pregnancy

4 May 2016

This week is Immunisation Week, a week which highlights the importance of immunisation to protect against serious illnesses and this year the theme is ‘protecting baby starts in pregnancy’.

Melanie Hurliman, Taranaki DHB Immunisation Co-Ordinator said, “Immunisation is the most effective preventative measure we have in health and expectant mums are encouraged to be immunised during pregnancy, immunise baby on time and enrol early with a midwife and GP.”

Mrs Hurliman stressed the importance of immunisation during pregnancy against whooping cough and influenza. “Whooping cough can cause babies to become seriously ill, and can sometimes be deadly.  Immunisation against whooping cough during pregnancy protects nine out of ten babies in their first few weeks of life, until they are fully immunised.”

“Expectant mothers should also get the seasonal flu immunisation. Getting the flu while pregnant can be serious for the mother – and baby. In fact, pregnant women are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital when suffering from influenza-related complications than women who are not pregnant.”

“Both immunisations are recommended, free and have a proven safety record. Close family members are also encouraged to be immunised for these diseases,” she said.

 “Complacency is sometimes an in issue in New Zealand. Some people may feel that because of our distance from the rest of the world, we are safe. In truth, these diseases are only a plane ride away.  We commonly see this with Measles outbreaks.”

Mrs Hurliman explained, “That’s why its really important children are fully immunised and are immunised on time at 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months, 15 months, 4 years, 11 years and all of life, it’s the best protection against serious illnesses.

 

For more information please call
Cressida Gates-Thompson, Communications Manager, 027 703 6177

 

 

 

 

Last updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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