Health minister leads the way with flu vaccination

NICOLA BRENNAN-TUPARA
Last updated 09:13 14/03/2013
 Tony Ryall
FAIRFAX NZ
‘We want more New Zealanders to be protected against this serious disease – this year the goal is to vaccinate 1.2 million people.’’ Health minister Tony Ryall.

Relevant offers

Waikato residents are being urged to get their annual flu jab now to prevent the viral illness taking hold  this winter.

The vaccine has  arrived in GP surgeries across the district and doctors are urging people to get the jab soon  as it  can take up to two weeks from vaccination to develop immunity.

Health minister Tony Ryall got his jab on Tuesday and urged all Kiwis to follow suit.

''We want more New Zealanders to be protected against this serious disease - this year the goal is to vaccinate 1.2 million people,'' he said.  ''Around 400 New Zealanders die, directly or indirectly, each year from influenza.  ''Last year the disease put more than a thousand people in hospital and nearly 50,000 people visited their GP with influenza-like illness.''

Waikato District Health Board  immunisation co-ordinator Kim Hunter said the flu was a ''serious illness'' and could put people in hospital and even kill them.

''Having an influenza vaccine yearly is an important way to protect yourself and others,'' she said.

''As the circulating influenza strains change each year, so does the vaccine, so annual vaccination is necessary.''  The influenza vaccine for the 2013 southern hemisphere season includes two new strains based on recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

Ms Hunter said it was a myth that people could get the flu from simply having the jab.

''The vaccine is not live and it is not possible to catch influenza from the vaccine,'' she said.

The flu vaccination is free to those at greatest risk of serious influenza complications, including New Zealanders over the age of 65, pregnant women and people with ongoing health conditions such as asthma or heart problems.

People who are not eligible for the programme can buy the vaccine from their general practitioner or selected pharmacies.
 
The free influenza vaccination season will end on July 31.

Ad Feedback

- Waikato

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Become a fan of The Waikato Times

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news

Contact us

• Story ideas: Email or call 07 849 6180
• Website ideas: Email or tweet us
• Subscription & delivery - 0800 806 180 or email
• View the Digital Edition
• Contacts@Waikato Times
• Advertise on waikatotimes.co.nz

Celebrations- small - Waikato

Celebrations

View marriage and birth notices from around the region

Deaths- small- Waikato

Death Notices

View obituaries from around the region

My subscription

The easy way to put your Waikato Times delivery on hold or report a missed or damaged paper