Influenza on the increase: immunisation advised.

Influenza illness can be particularly severe or life threatening for people with ongoing medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, bronchitis, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, most cancers and other conditions affecting the immune system.


Young children also are especially susceptible to influenza because most have had little past exposure to the virus.

Influenza is a disease that never fully disappears. It circulates all year round in tropical countries and affects countries with temperate climates, like New Zealand, in the winter months.

Vaccination is the best way for people to protect themselves against influenza. The A/Fujian strain, currently causing the outbreaks in the United Kingdom, has been incorporated into the vaccine that will be available in March prior to next year's winter influenza season here.

It is important that people 65 years or over and children and adults with ongoing medical conditions should be immunised against influenza each year and that this should be done when the vaccine becomes available, usually in March.

Vaccination is required every year as the vaccine is updated annually to reflect current circulating strains.

Source: Dr Lance Jennings, Virologist and member of the National Influenza Immunisation Strategy Group and Dr Paul Bohmer, Ministry of Health.


The 'flu vs the common cold - look at the differences

Children are able to be vaccinated against strains of influenza
If you would like your whole family to have a flu shot please talk to our nurses.

Many people are not aware that children are able to be vaccinated against influenza viruses. As with all vaccinations there may be reasons why vaccination may not be the best option. Generally children aged 6 years and older gain benefit from influenza vaccination and this is especially indicated if your child suffers from asthma or any chronic condition. Our medical staff would be very happy to advise you further.




Childhood vaccination schedule
The NZ vaccination schedule is designed to provide the best balance of protection against diseases that can still cause serious disability or death in children and young adults. As with any medical intervention there is a balance of benefit and risk. We are very happy to discuss any individual questions regarding the routine childhood vaccinations recommended by the Ministry of Health.


Chronic bronchitis, COPD, severe asthma
If you are severely affected by chronic bronchitis, asthma or chronic pulmonary disease you may benefit from vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia - this is a once only vaccination available at the surgery. If you think you this may benefit you please book in for a consultation with your general practitioner at the practice

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