Push for vac­cines

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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