Flu immunisation underway

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April signals the launch of our annual influenza immunisation campaign during which well over one million Kiws will get themselves immunised against this sometimes debilitating illness.

It makes sense.  By being immunised we not only protect ourselves, we also don’t pass on influenza to our families, friends and colleagues. This year's vaccine has two new strains to ensure we are better protected from the strains currently circulating around the world including A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) - like virus;  A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) - like virus (new) and B/Brisbane/60/2008 – like virus (new).

Immunisation is free for Kiwis at high risk of complications, through their general practice. Many employers also provide free vaccination for their staff. Those not eligible for free immunisation can purchase it from general practices and some pharmacies. High risk groups include those with long term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, kidney disease, cancer, pregnancy and people aged 65 and over.

The vaccine will be funded for eligible patients until the end of July. Similar to previous years, a total of 1.2 million doses are expected to be distributed.