Less than a week left to get free flu protection

25 July 2013

Taranaki residents eligible for free influenza immunisation have less than a week left to be vaccinated before the Government-subsidised campaign ends for this year on July 31.

Taranaki Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jonathan Jarman said “In 2012 influenza activity peaked at the start of August so it is extremely important that those eligible for the free vaccination get in now.”

“Well done to all those who have already taken advantage of the free influenza vaccination” said Dr Jarman. “However we still have vulnerable people unprotected in our community which is a concern as influenza cases are due to rise and it can take up to two weeks to develop protection after vaccination.”

Influenza vaccinations are free from a doctor or nurse until the end of July 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.

Anyone who wants to be immunised against influenza after July 31 will have to pay a small charge to get it from their doctor, nurse or in some pharmacies.

Other viruses that have been active so far this winter include rhinovirus which can cause a cold, respiratory syncytial virus which cause flu-like illness in adults and bronchiolitis and ear infections in children, and adenovirus which normally causes a mild sore throat and runny nose.

“Hand washing and good respiratory hygiene such as not coughing over people are key ways to avoid these types of viruses,” said Dr Jarman.

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

For more information please call
Gemma Gibson
Communications Advisor
Ph 753 7777 ext 8486

 


Last updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013

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