Time for annual Influenza immunisation


11 March 2014

Taranaki DHB begins its annual influenza immunisation campaign today.

A free immunisation drop in clinic for pregnant women is operating from today Tuesday 11th March between 2-3pm at the ante-natal clinic at Taranaki Base Hospital and every fortnight following.

“The DHB is committed to increasing influenza protection in Taranaki, especially among those groups most at risk of complications. This year, there is a particular focus on protecting pregnant women,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr Jonathan Jarman. 

“Research shows that healthy, pregnant women are up to 18 times more likely to be admitted to hospital when suffering from influenza than non-pregnant women. 

“Changes to a woman’s immune system during pregnancy means that she is more susceptible to a number of infectious diseases including influenza.” 

Dr Jarman said that influenza immunisation in pregnancy also provides some protection to the newborn baby during the first few months of its life. 

The influenza vaccine for the 2014 season includes two new strains based upon recommendations from the World Health Organization. The composition is:

- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
- A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus (New)
- B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus (New)

Dr Jarman says influenza immunisation is free for New Zealanders at high-risk of complications, and is now accessible from GPs or nurses.

“Those at high-risk include pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and anyone under 65 years of age with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers.”  

Taranaki DHB is offering all staff free influenza vaccinations from Monday 17 March.

“Influenza can affect anyone, no matter how fit, active and healthy they may be.”

 

For further information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789


Last updated: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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