MEDIA RELEASES

The publicly funded influenza vaccine delayed

In an attempt to have a more effective vaccine for New Zealand, changes have had to be made to the vaccine components which has caused a delay of around three weeks in vaccine availability.  The publicly funded influenza vaccine will be available in early April instead of March. 

The Influenza virus (or bug) is always changing slightly so the vaccine each year has to keep pace with these changes. This year in the northern hemisphere there was a mismatch and so the vaccine used there was only partly effective. 

Because influenza-like illnesses are likely to increase sometime in May/June we recommend that if you are eligible for free vaccine you should make a note on your calendar to follow up with your GP in April and make an appointment for the immunisation.

Those eligible for the free publicly funded influenza vaccine are:

·         Individuals 65 years and over with cardiac and respiratory conditions, and all high risk children

·         Individuals under 65 years of age with other medical conditions, including pregnant women

·         Well individuals 65 years and over

Influenza or ‘flu’ can be a serious illness – it’s more than a “bad cold”.  Anyone can catch it.  Even fit and healthy people can get it and can get very sick, according to Northland Medical Officer of Health, Dr Shirley Crawshaw.

“Some people can end up in hospital and some die because the disease can make other conditions, such as breathing or heart problems, even worse,” she says.

Influenza immunisation cannot give you the ‘flu’ because it does not contain live viruses. There can be side effects, but these usually disappear within 1-2 days by themselves.

Dr Crawshaw says the seriousness of influenza viruses shouldn’t be underestimated.

“Even a moderate dose of ‘flu’ can stop you from working, studying or enjoying other activities for a week or more. And some people feel tired for weeks afterwards.”



Services A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

In order to view this object you need Flash Player 9+ support!

Get Adobe Flash player