Five key messages for 2020

Your regular use and support of the following messages will play an essential role in increasing influenza vaccination and lowering infection rates.

  1. Immunisation is the best protection against influenza. Even if you still catch influenza after immunisation, your symptoms are less likely to be severe.
  2. 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.
    • If you are sick, staying away from others, regular handwashing or use of hand sanitisers and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing also help reduce the spread of influenza
  3. 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
  4. Having an influenza immunisation every year can keep older people healthy and active for longer.
  5. Influenza immunisation during pregnancy helps protect the mother and her baby against influenza.

Vaccine

For 2020, of the four influenza strains included in the funded vaccines, the first three listed below are new.

  • A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/South Australia/34/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Washington/02/2019-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

Four reasons why healthcare workers should be vaccinated:

  1. Protect patients at greater risk of developing complications.
  2. Improved patient safety, improved employee safety and decreased healthcare expenditure.
  3. Healthcare workers have a duty of care to protect vulnerable patients from the serious threat of influenza illness.
  4. 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

Resources can be downloaded and/or ordered from https://www.influenza.org.nz/resources

         Top five ways to stay healthy

Links

Last updated 7 April 2020.