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Helen Moses, 87, Roy Anatipa-Manukau, 87 and Kiriata Matthews, 76 at the Rauawaawa Charitable Trust in Hamilton.

He lived through the great depression and several wars, so Roy Anatipa-Manakau isn’t going to let the flu knock him down.

Eighty-seven year old Roy, who was born in Te Awamutu in 1928 was one of 90 over 65s from the Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust in Hamilton, who recently received their influenza immunisation.

Born in Te Awamutu he lived throughout the Waikato before running an Auckland billiard hall for 28 years. Over the years he has saw his fair share of illnesses come and go in people, many of which are preventable through immunisation.

He said that after all the things he’s lived through, he doesn’t want to get felled by something preventable.

“Immunisation is one of the best things they’ve ever done for the elderly, when you get to this age it’s a lot easier to pick up all the things that are going round, but with this you’re covered,” he said.

“I remember getting measles as a kid and no one gets that now because they’re all immunised, so if you’ve got the opportunity to get the immunised, I would.”

Over 65s are one of the high risk groups that are eligible for free vaccinations in New Zealand, they can access the free immunisation through their local doctor.

Older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, and it can even cause death.

They too are eligible for free flu vaccinations.

Symptoms of influenza come on suddenly and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough and stomach upsets.

The only way people can protect themselves from flu is to get an annual immunisation.

“All our Kaumatua everywhere are precious and need to be as protected as possible, so if I had one bit of advice to anyone, it would get to get in touch with the doctor and get your immunisation done every year,” says Roy.

For more information about influenza, and how it can affect you, visit Fight Flu

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