Immunisation week timely reminder protect our community

22 April 2013

Protecting your child and your community by getting your child immunised on time every time is the theme for Immunisation Week, 22-28 April.

Taranaki DHB is celebrating the importance of immunisation for children, families and communities along with about 180 other countries this week as part of the World Health Organisation initiative. Immunisation prevents between two and three million deaths world wide every year.

Taranaki DHB Medical Officer of Health, Jonathan Jarman said immunisation is one of the most successful and cost effective health interventions to prevent serious disease and also one of the safest.

Dr Jarman urges all parents to ensure their children are immunised on time for best protection. 

“There is an epidemic of whooping cough all over New Zealand at the moment.”

“Because young children are the ones most likely to have complications and end up in hospital is the reason that vaccinations start at 6 weeks of age.  On-time vaccination is the best protection.”

The symptoms of whooping cough in young children can include prolonged coughing, turning blue, vomiting and stopping breathing.
Free whooping cough vaccination is also available for pregnant women who are between 28 and 38 weeks gestation in their pregnancy because of the high levels of whooping cough in many parts of the country.

Dr Jarman said that there had been 50 cases of whooping cough reported in Taranaki since the start of the year.

If parents have any questions about immunisation they should ask to discuss these with their family doctor or practice nurse.

Both primary health organisations in Taranaki, Midlands Health Network and National Hauora Coalition, outreach services, and local Plunket branches are committed all year round to help keep our families healthy by encouraging immunisation.

To help promote Immunisation Week, Midlands Health Network is asking its 96 practices across Taranaki, Waikato, Gisborne, and Taupo to get involved in its immunisation week competition. There are two prizes for practices with the best immunisation display for patients and the best initiative to encourage immunisations.

In Taranaki, there are immunisation displays going up in our hospitals as well as promotion of:

  • Immunisation work being done in primary care
  • An Immunisation information point in Prospero Place, Stratford on Wednesday, 24 April from 11am-1pm. Families are encouraged to come down and ask any questions they may have about immunisation. Everyone who attends will go in the draw for a Stratford Business Association voucher.
  • Opportunistic immunisation in the Taranaki DHB Secondary Antenatal Clinic.
  • Local Maori Women’s Welfare League immunisation champions.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Monday, April 22, 2013

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