More than a million Kiwis immunised against the flu



Hon Jo Goodhew
Associate Minister of Health

26 April 2013

Just over one million New Zealanders have had a flu vaccination so far this year – 250,000 more than the same time last year and 350,000 more than in 2009.

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew says this level of immunisation so early in the flu season is unprecedented.

“Many in the health care sector are commenting that they have never before seen such high demand for flu vaccination – even during the 2010 pandemic,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“It looks like we will easily reach the goal of immunising 1.2 million New Zealanders by the end of July when the flu immunisation programme finishes.

“In fact it is likely we will exceed this, which will mean the highest numbers of Kiwis ever have been immunised against the flu.”

Of the 1.03 million doses distributed so far just over 400,000 have been funded immunisations. The remainder have been purchased privately either by individuals or by workplace immunisation programmes.

Around 1.1 million people are eligible for funded flu vaccine each year.  This includes people 65 years and over, pregnant women, children under the age of five with significant respiratory illnesses and people with on-going health conditions.

On average, the uptake amongst those who are eligible for funded flu vaccine is around 60 per cent each year. This year the Government hopes to improve the uptake in this group.

“It is fantastic to know one in four New Zealanders has taken heed of the message that the flu is a serious disease and that the best way to protect yourself from it is to immunise,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“However, I do still encourage those who are eligible for funded flu vaccine but who have not yet taken advantage of this opportunity to contact a health professional to discuss their options.

“I’d also like to thank all those health professionals who have helped us get to the million mark – it would be impossible to do without them.”

For further information about go to www.fightflu.co.nz or call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).

 

Media contact: Tessa Buchanan 04 817 9902 or 021 220 0129   



 

Last updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013

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