Five key messages for 2019
- Immunisation is the best protection against influenza. Even if you still catch influenza after immunisation, your symptoms are less likely to be severe.
- Get immunised to stop the spread of influenza around your community. Even if you don't feel sick, you could still be infected with influenza and pass it on to others.
- Influenza immunisation is recommended and FREE for people who are most likely to get very sick, be hospitalised or even die if they catch influenza: pregnant women; people aged 65 years or older; people aged under 65 years with diabetes, most heart or lung conditions and some other illnesses; and children aged 4 years or under who have had a stay in hospital for asthma or other breathing problems.
- Having an influenza vaccination every year can keep older people healthy and active for longer.
- Influenza immunisation during pregnancy helps protect the woman and her baby against influenza.
The influenza vaccine for the New Zealand 2019 influenza season contains the following four virus strains:
- A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
- A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus*
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus*
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
*two new strains
Four reasons why healthcare workers should be vaccinated:
- Protect patients at greater risk of developing complications.
- Improved patient safety, improved employee safety and decreased healthcare expenditure.
- Healthcare workers have a duty of care to protect vulnerable patients from the serious threat of influenza illness.
- Relying on patients being vaccinated for their personal protection is not enough, many vulnerable people have a poor immune response to the vaccine or may not have been vaccinated this year.
Resources for General Practice
The following can be ordered from https://www.influenza.org.nz/resources