April 08, 2016
Two new strains for flu jab
Flu season is coming up, and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman this week launched the annual influenza immunisation campaign.
He says more than one million New Zealanders get immunised against influenza each year.
The vaccine is free until the end of July for high risk groups, including people with long term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, kidney disease, cancer, as well as pregnant women and people aged 65 and over.
Many employers provide free vaccinations for staff, and people who aren't eligible for free immunisation can purchase it from general practices and some pharmacies.
This year the vaccine has protects against the H1N1-like virus as well as two new strains identified as threats by the World Health Organisation, the H3N2 Hong Kong virus and the Brisbane virus.
Maori are considered more susceptible to flu and respiratory disease based on historical factors and risk factors like lower incomes, poor housing and education, and less of access to health services.
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