Push for vaccines
This week is World Immunisation Awareness Week and Plunket is using it as a chance to promote the importance of immunisation.
The week is a World Health Organisation initiative to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
Plunket clinical advisor Allison Jamieson says immunisation is vitally important a tool to protect New Zealand families and communities.
‘‘The World Health Organisation ranks immunisation among the most cost-effective public health measures ever developed.
‘‘Immunisation has a profoundly positive effect not only on the individual but on the whole of the population, as it helps improve community immunity,’’ she says.
Ms Jamieson says there is a misconception that diseases such as measles and whooping cough are not serious. ‘‘This could not be further from the truth. Measles and whooping cough are both highly contagious and can be life threatening.
‘‘Immunisation is a free, proven way that parents can protect their children against 11 serious diseases, including measles and whooping cough.
‘‘It is never too late to catch up on immunisations, even if a child has fallen behind on the immunisation schedule,’’ she says.
If parents are not sure when their child is due for immunisation they can check the immunisation schedule at plunket.org.nz or call their doctor or practise nurse.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre also offers information and advice about immunisation and preventing the spread of infection through its toll-free line 0800 IMMUNE (on 0800 466 863) and immune.org.nz.
Plunket is one of many community groups that give immunisation information to parents and caregivers. Talk to a nurse or call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922.
Awareness week: Plunket says immunisation is a vitally important tool to protect New Zealand families and communities.