You could come in contact with influenza at anytime
Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with influenza each year. Many people won't feel sick at all, but can still pass it on to others.
Influenza can be anywhere. Contact with the influenza virus is almost unavoidable, and while contact does not necessarily mean infection, it does mean that you are never far from the possibility of catching influenza.
Influenza, commonly called the flu, can be a serious illness that is sometimes fatal. Infection with influenza virus may lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition. Ifnfluenza can make an existing medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, a lot worse.
Even if you do not end up in hospital, influenza can keep you in bed for a week or more, preventing you from doing work, sport or just about anything that requires leaving the house.
By immunising against influenza you can protect yourself and lessen the chance of bringing it home to a baby, older relative, or someone with a medical condition who could develop serious complications from influenza.
Get immunised early before the influenza season starts.
Influenza vaccination is FREE for people who are most at risk.
Almost everyone can benefit from the protection of annual influenza immunisation.
The vaccine is especially important for people at risk of serious complications from influenza including:
- Pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
- Anyone aged 65 years or over
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
- Anyone aged 6 months to under 65 years with any of the following medical conditions:
- Chronic heart problems, excluding high cholesterol or high blood pressure if they have not caused problems with other organs
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Chronic breathing or lung problems, excluding asthma if regular preventative therapy is not required
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cancer that is not in remission, excluding skin cancers if not invasive
- Other conditions (such as autoimmune disease, immune suppression, immune deficiency, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), transplant recipients, neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases, cochlear implant, error of metabolism at risk of major metabolic decompensation, pre- or post-splenectomy, Down syndrome, haemoglobinopathies and children on long term aspirin)
If you do not have one of these eligible conditions, you still benefit from an influenza immunisation available, at a small cost.
From 1 May 2017, all children and young people aged from 6 months to under 18 years who are living within the following earthquake impacted areas will be eligible to receive funded influenza immunisation:
- Seddon/Ward and rural Eastern Marlborough (Nelson Marlborough DHB)
- Kaikoura and Hurunui (Canterbury DHB)
Ready to get immunised? Find a healthcare professional near you.