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First month of flu vaccination a great success

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed the news that already over 654,000 influenza vaccines have been distributed to New Zealanders.

“31 March was day 36 of the 2014 influenza vaccination campaign and already we’re over halfway to our target of 1.25 million doses by 31 July,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“This year there has been a 10% increase on last year’s results over the same time period.

“Flu vaccination is easier to get than ever. It’s free from a GP for those 65 and over, pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers. Many workplaces offer free vaccination, and also GPs and now many pharmacists can provide it for a small charge.

“The best protection against influenza is immunisation. The strains included in this season’s influenza vaccine are a good match to those strains in the recent northern hemisphere influenza season, including the H1N1 strain.”

Mrs Goodhew commended the doctors, nurses and pharmacists around the country who have been working hard to administer the flu vaccine to their patients over the last month.

“Getting protected now means you’re set up for an active and healthy winter,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Further information about influenza and vaccination is available at www.fightflu.co.nz and www.health.govt.nz/influenza

ENDS

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129

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