Earlier is Better

flu-vaccination_AP16_FMore than one million people are vaccinated every year in New Zealand and you get the best protection if you get vaccinated earlier rather than later. Protecting younger people, especially those with ongoing medical conditions, will be a special focus of this year’s seasonal influenza immunisation programme.

Younger people who have an ongoing medical condition such as diabetes or asthma, are often unaware that they are at risk from influenza. They possibly believe they are fit and healthy and therefore, not in need of influenza vaccination. Unfortunately, this group is particularly vulnerable to the complications of influenza because of their underlying condition and are more likely to be admitted to hospital when suffering from influenza than the general population. Older people remain a focus for this year’s immunisation campaign.

Flu Vaccinations are free if you are over 65 or under 65 with any of the following illnesses:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma or other lung disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Renal disease
  • Cancer excluding skin cancers which are non invasive
  • Autoimmune or immune suppressed diseases
  • HIV
  • Transplant patients
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Children on long term aspirin
  • Children with cochlear implants
  • Children with a history of respiratory who have required hospitalisation
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Anaemia