Free flu jab for those at risk
Residents have only a few weeks left to claim free influenza vaccinations. The Governmentsubsidised campaign ends on July 31.
Virologist Lance Jennings said 1.24 million people had been vaccinated this year.
‘‘Many vulnerable people are, however, still unprotected. This is a concern as we head into the flu season,’’ he said.
Those at greatest risk from flu complications, or those in contact with people who are at high risk from flu, should be immunised as soon as possible, Dr Jennings said. Influenza cases traditionally begin to rise sharply at this time of year.
Influenza vaccinations are free from a doctor or nurse for New Zealanders until the end of July for people aged over 64, people with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease, most cancers, pregnant women and children aged between 6 months and 5 years who have a history of significant respiratory illness.
People who want to be immunised after July 31 will have to pay a small charge.
Influenza usually has symptoms such as a sudden onset of illness, high fever or headache or dry cough.