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NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

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  • NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

    <TABLE class=story-top cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>Get flu vaccine while sun still shines

    Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 3:45 pm
    Press Release: Waikato District Health Board

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    Get Your Flu Vaccine While the Sun Still Shines

    Even though we feel like winter will never come, putting a reminder in your diary to make your seasonal influenza vaccination appointment is the recommendation from Waikato District Health Board medical officer of health Felicity Dumble.

    In just six weeks the seasonal influenza vaccination, which includes protection against three strains of influenza; pandemic H1N1 and the two most common seasonal strains for 2010, will become available.

    Dr Dumble recommends people start making plans to receive the important immunisation as New Zealand prepares for a predicted 'second wave' of the H1N1 pandemic.

    From experience in the Northern Hemisphere, it is believed the flu season may arrive earlier than usual this year, she said.

    "As always, there are certain groups of people who are more vulnerable to influenza and get the most benefit from the vaccine.

    "These are the people most at risk of severe illness and complications from seasonal influenza and include the very young, the elderly, and people with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

    "The pandemic strain also carries increased risk for pregnant women, morbidly obese people and those aged under 65 years with chronic medical conditions," she said.

    In addition to the trivalent (triple strain) seasonal vaccine, this year, the Ministry of Health is offering an 'early bird' monovalent (single strain) vaccine against Influenza A (H1N1) to people specifically at risk from the pandemic strain.

    This includes children under five years who belong to specific general practices.

    It is also being offered to frontline health care workers who are in contact with these vulnerable groups.

    Unlike the seasonal vaccine, the 'early bird' vaccine must be given in two doses to all age groups, the first of which needs to be administered before 19 February.

    "There is limited stock of the monovalent pandemic vaccine available, so only those prioritised by the Ministry of Health are eligible to receive it," said Dr Dumble.

    Restricted supply also means not all GP practices will be able to offer the early bird vaccine.

    "However, it's extremely important that as many people as possible get the seasonal influenza vaccine that contains protection against pandemic H1N1 and seasonal strains when it arrives in March."

    The Ministry of Health plans to start the seasonal influenza campaign on 8 March.

    People who are eligible for the free early bird monovalent pandemic vaccine:
    * People under 65 years of age (including children) with certain conditions (as for seasonal influenza)

    * Pregnant women (if they are infected by influenza, pregnant women are more likely to develop severe illness or complications compared with women who are not pregnant; the infection may also put the foetus and the newborn at risk)

    * People who are morbidly obese

    * All children aged from six months to their fifth birthday enrolled in designated general practices that have high proportions of people who are Maori, Pacific and/or from high deprivation areas

    * In addition the vaccine is being offered to frontline healthcare workers - staff in general practice, emergency departments, intensive care units and those who may have direct contact with at-risk patients. The government is covering the cost of the vaccine for these workers but they or their employers will need to pay any other costs associated with immunisation

    * NB: Individuals 65 years and older are not expected to be at higher risk from pandemic H1N1 influenza as they are likely to have some pre-existing immunity, and so are not included in this eligibility list

    The 'certain' medical conditions (as mentioned above)
    * Cardiovascular disease (ischaemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and cerebrovascular disease)

    * Chronic respiratory disease (asthma if on regular preventive therapy; other chronic respiratory disease with impaired lung function)

    * Diabetes

    * Chronic renal disease

    * Any cancer, excluding basal and squamous skin cancers if not invasive

    * Other conditions (autoimmune disease, immune suppression, HIV, transplant recipients, neuromuscular and central nervous system disease, haemaglobinopathies, children on long term aspirin)

    For more information on the 'early bird' monovalent pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines, or general information about influenza, visit or

    People can also phone Waikato District Health Board's Public Health Unit (07) 838 2569 or Pinnacle (07) 839 2888 during office hours.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Re: NZ - Vaccine Information for Pandemic and Seasonal Flu

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    Swine flu jabs start

    By Elspeth McLean on Mon, 1 Feb 2010
    The Regions: Otago

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    Special clinics in Otago will begin delivering the free swine-flu vaccine from today for those considered most at risk of contracting the illness.

    The monovalent (single-strain) pandemic vaccine is expected to be offered to up to 150,000 people across New Zealand.

    Those eligible for the two-dose vaccine are health workers who may have direct contact with at-risk patients, pregnant women, or people under 65 with underlying health conditions including obesity, chronic, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease and cancer.

    The Ministry of Health is recommending that those in these groups have the vaccine, followed by the seasonal influenza vaccine which will be designed to protect against swine flu and two other flu strains.

    That vaccination is expected to be available in March.

    Those receiving the monovalent vaccine will have two doses three weeks apart.

    Otago and Southland medical officer of health Dr Marion Poore said the two district health boards were keen to offer early protection against swine flu to those who needed it most in case the next wave of the H1N1 virus arrived earlier than usual.

    In Dunedin, clinics for at-risk patients and identified healthcare workers will be held at the breast-screening clinic on floor one of the ward block at Dunedin Hospital today, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, between 5pm and 7.30pm.

    Identified healthcare workers will also be able to receive vaccinations at a clinic in the orthopaedics outpatients department at Dunedin Hospital on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3pm to 5pm.

    The second-dose clinics will be held from February 23 to 26 and March 2 to 5.

    Other clinics will be held in Oamaru (from February 17), Balclutha (from February 15) and at Dunstan Hospital (February 8).

    Details of these have not yet been confirmed.

    In Southland, general practices will be delivering the vaccine with extra clinics at Southland Hospital, Lakes District Hospital and Gore Health for health workers.

    Anyone unsure of whether they are eligible or requiring further information about the Otago and Southland clinics should contact their family doctor or practice nurse.

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela


    • #3
      Re: NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

      Swine flu's return may hit harder

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      By ESTHER TAUNTON - Taranaki Daily News
      Last updated 05:00 05/02/2010

      Swine flu's second wave may not be so gentle, the Taranaki District Health Board's medical officer of health says.

      The warning comes as front-line health workers and those most at risk from swine flu are being offered free vaccinations as part of an early protection programme.

      New Zealand experienced pandemic H1N1 influenza (swine flu) last winter and, based on the northern hemisphere's experience, health officials say another outbreak could occur here in late March and peak in April.

      The Ministry of Health has purchased enough single strain vaccine to immunise 150,000 people against swine flu but, because of the limited supply, the vaccine will be available only to health workers and people at risk of more severe outcomes.

      Individuals who may be eligible include: People under 65 with long term health problems; pregnant women; people who are morbidly obese; and children under five enrolled at practices where more than 50 per cent of enrolled children under six are Maori, Pacific and/or from high deprivation areas.

      The single strain vaccine will be given as the first stage of this year's immunisation programme with the usual seasonal influenza immunisation programme to begin next month and protect against three strains, including H1N1.

      Taranaki DHB's medical officer of health Greg Simmons yesterday said there were 33 confirmed cases of swine flu in Taranaki last year but it was likely more had gone undiagnosed. "We stopped swabbing at a certain point so it's difficult to say what the actual number might have been," he said. "I guess you could say we got off lightly but the second wave might not be so gentle." If 30 or 40 per cent of the population were vaccinated against swine flu it would go a long way towards reducing the impact of the next outbreak, he said.

      Twelve staff at Taranaki Base Hospital had been vaccinated on Wednesday and Hawera Hospital workers next Wednesday.

      Dr Simmons said pharmacists, community health nurses and staff at private clinics were also being offered the shot.

      "We are offering it as a single strain vaccine but most of our focus will be on the seasonal vaccine which also protects against two other strains," he said. "There probably won't be much change in coverage because the other strains we vaccinate were basically non-existent in the northern hemisphere."
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela


      • #4
        Re: NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

        H1N1 jabs for health workers

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        By AMY MILNE - The Southland Times
        Last updated 05:00 09/02/2010

        Health professionals are arming themselves against an early pandemic outbreak of swine flu this autumn.

        Otago and Southland District Health Boards staff have been lining up this month for their free H1N1 influenza A vaccine in an effort to protect them and others from the virus.

        Otago and Southland Medical Officer of Health Marion Poore said health officials were taking a two-stage approach to influenza this year.

        The first stage was an early protection vaccine against the H1N1 strain to those who fit the eligibility criteria.

        This required two doses three weeks apart.

        "The vaccine is free to frontline health care workers and anyone under 65 who is morbidly obese, pregnant, or has underlying health conditions such as respiratory problems or heart disease," Dr Poore said.

        The second stage would be the usual seasonal vaccine, which was a single dose and free from mid-March to those aged 65 and over, frontline medical staff and anyone with underlying health problems.

        Dr Poore said it was difficult to predict what would happen with influenza viruses this year.

        "The seriousness of the illness is no different to what it was last year but because only a few people are protected with natural immunity, it's likely we'll see large numbers of people who become sick.

        "So vaccination is the most effective way of preventing illness.

        "And this year we do expect the H1N1 strain to be the predominant strain in our community," Dr Poore said.

        According to a Health Ministry report, a wide-spreading pandemic wave is unlikely during summer but a new pandemic wave about the same size as last year's winter wave is more likely to start in the early autumn and peak in mid-autumn.

        The final death count from the virus last year is not yet confirmed but the report says total deaths are expected to be fewer than 50.
        However, there is uncertainty around what it will be this year, it says.

        "Unless the virus changes, the pandemic disease will probably be of much the same severity and impact as during the 2009 winter wave," the report says.

        Even if antiviral resistance develops and starts to spread in New Zealand, Tamiflu and Relenza are likely to remain effective for most people with pandemic H1N1 during 2010, it says.
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela


        • #5
          Re: NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

          Ministry Of Health under fire for vaccine 'discrimination'

          Thu, 04 Mar 2010 6:02p.m.

          By Emma Jolliff

          The Ministry Of Health is under pressure tonight over claims its new policy on flu vaccinations is discriminatory.

          Doctors and the medical association say thousands of children stand to miss out on free flu vaccines just because they're registered at the wrong medical centre.

          Under changes to the health ministry's flu vaccination program, at-risk pre-schoolers will now be eligible for a free flu vaccination. But there's a catch.

          ?The ministry has decided to target those that will be eligible by way of which practice they attend rather than by individual need,? says NZMA chairman Peter Foley.

          Only those vaccinations at practices which have more than half of their pre-schoolers identified as at-risk will be funded. Others will pay the full $26.

          ?If some of those children attend as we know they do practices where they don't fulfil the 50 percent criteria then it is a risk to the community,? says Foley.

          ?At-risk? pre-schoolers are described as being between six months and five years old who are Maori, Pacific Islanders or from a low socio-economic background.

          ?More at risk of developing the flu like illness or the complications that flu like illness will bring to them,? says Foley.

          This year, for the first time, the seasonal flu vaccination will include a vaccine against the H1N1 virus, responsible for last year's swine flu pandemic.

          The health ministry is coming under pressure from GPS and the Medical Association to change its policy. But wouldn't comment today.

          Foley says he suspects the Ministry is realising the problem that's been created and is hopefully re-thinking the plan so that children in need won't miss out.

          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela


          • #6
            Re: NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

            <TABLE class=story-top cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>Free Flu vaccination extends to include youngest

            Friday, 5 March 2010, 12:51 pm
            Press Release: Auckland District Health Board
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            Free Flu vaccination extends to include young children

            Aucklanders with children aged between 6 months and five years could be eligible for a free flu vaccination to help protect them from H1N1 (Swine Flu).

            The Ministry of Health today extended its free flu vaccination campaign to more children aged between 6 months and five years for 2010 only.

            The Ministry says general practices can use their discretion to offer free flu immunisation to children from high deprivation backgrounds who are aged between 6 months and 5 years.

            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela


            • #7
              Re: NZ - Where can I get swine flu vaccinations - by region

              Media Release

              8 March 2010

              Don?t let the flu get you ? immunise now


              Seasonal influenza (?flu) vaccine has arrived in New Zealand surgeries and this year more groups of New Zealanders will be able to get free flu protection.

              The 2010 seasonal influenza vaccine will include protection against three types of flu, including the Pandemic H1N1 Influenza 09 (swine flu).

              Director of Public Health Dr Mark Jacobs says people need to be immunised as soon as possible because swine flu may return in a second wave as early as the end of March or early April. It takes up to two weeks to develop immunity after vaccination.

              ?Although current trends indicate that for most people swine flu is similar to normal winter seasonal flu for some it can be very serious and can lead to complications, even death. We need to be vigilant and take reasonable precautions,? says Dr Jacobs.

              Influenza or ?flu can be a serious illness ? it?s more than a ?bad cold?. Anyone can catch it ? even the fit and healthy.

              Some people can end up in hospital or can die, particularly because the disease can make other conditions, such as breathing or heart problems, even worse.

              Vaccinations are free from March to the end of June for New Zealanders in these groups:

              • people aged 65 and over;
              • anyone under 65 years of age (including children) with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers.

              In addition, for this year (2010 only), the Government will provide free flu immunisation for:

              • Pregnant women
              • Severely obese people
              • Children aged six months to their fifth birthday, on the advice of their doctor.

              The Ministry of Health and the National Influenza Strategy Group (NISG) advise New Zealanders to take the following steps to keep themselves and their family/whanau safe from flu this winter:

              • Get an influenza vaccination ? it?s free for many people. Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether a seasonal vaccination is free for you.
              • Wash and dry your hands often
              • Stay away from people who are sick
              • Stay away from work and school if you?re unwell
              • Cover your coughs and sneezes

              People who don?t qualify for a free flu vaccine can get it through their general practice for a small charge. Many employers also offer free immunization to their employees.

              For free health advice, call Healthline 0800 611 116. For advice about influenza immunisation visit or text FLU to 515