Are you eligible for a free flu vaccine?
Influenza, commonly called the flu, can be a serious and sometimes fatal illness.
Infection with the influenza virus may lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition.
Even if you do not end up in hospital, influenza can keep you in bed for a week or more, preventing you from doing work, sport or just about anything that requires leaving the house.
This is why flu vaccination is free for people who are most at risk, and available to everyone at a small cost through your local GP or medical centre.
The vaccine is free for:
- pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
- anyone aged 65 years or over
- children aged 6 months to under 5 years who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
- anyone aged 6 months to under 65 years with any of the following medical conditions:
- chronic heart problems, excluding high cholesterol or high blood pressure if they have not caused problems with other organs
- cerebrovascular disease
- chronic breathing or lung problems, excluding asthma if regular preventative therapy is not required
- chronic kidney disease
- cancer that is not in remission, excluding skin cancers if not invasive
- other conditions (such as autoimmune disease, immune suppression, immune deficiency, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), transplant recipients, neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases, cochlear implant, error of metabolism at risk of major metabolic decompensation, pre- or post-splenectomy, Down syndrome, haemoglobinopathies and children on long term aspirin)
Nelson Marlborough Health offers free fly vaccination to all staff, in order to help protect our patients, visitors and each other from infection.
For further information go to www.fightflu.co.nz or www.health.govt.nz/influenza or call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)