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Flu Vaccines 2016

Posted by on 29 March 2016

Flu vaccines are now available.  Please ring 348 8989 and make an appointment with one of our Practice Nurses.

Influenza immunisation is available FREE* until August 31st for those who are most at risk, including:

  • are pregnant
  • regularly use an asthma preventer
  • have diabetes
  • have heart disease
  • have kidney problems
  • have cancer that is not in remission
  • have a serious medical condition
  • or are aged 65 years or over

(*Please note flu vaccines are only free to those who are eligible for Health Benefits. Please click here to see whether you are eligible.)

If you do not have one of these eligible conditions, you still benefit from an influenza immunisation, at a cost of $35.

Influenza immunisation is normally available between March and the end of July every year.

A small number of people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a doctor, such as those who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccine previously or those who have a severe allergy (anaphylaxis) to chicken eggs.

Influenza vaccine strains for 2016

  • A (H1N1): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) - like virus
  • A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) like virus
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus

Key messages about Influenza immunisation

  1. The influenza vaccine cannot give you 'the flu' as there is no live virus in the vaccine. It has an excellent safety record and has been proven to provide effective protection for most vaccinated people, including pregnant women and their unborn or newborn babies.

  2. Influenza can be anywhere, on surfaces and in the air. While contact does not necssarily mean infection, it does mean that pople are never far from the possibility of contracting influenza.

  3. Influenza is highly contagious and anyone can become infected. It is important you do not pass influenza onto those who are particularly vulnerable to influenza - this includes young infants, pregnant women, the elderly and people with medical conditions such as asthma or heart problems.

  4. Being young,fit or healthy will not protect you from influenza.

  5. Influenza is more than just a 'bad cold'. It can lead to serious complications that can put you in hospital or even kill.

Influenza illness can include any or all of these symptoms: fever, muscle aches, headache, lack of energy, dry cough, sore throat, and possibly a runny nose. The fever and body aches can last 3-5 days and the cough and lack energy may last for two or more weeks. To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. Early prevention is the key. Please call us to make an appointment with our registered nurses to discuss if the influenza vaccine is right for you.

For more information about the flu vaccine, go to http://www.fightflu.co.nz