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Published Friday 5 Apr 2019

Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with influenza each year. And while some people won’t feel sick at all, they can still pass it on to others.

Influenza, commonly called the flu, can be a serious illness that is sometimes fatal.

Influenza can be anywhere. Contact with the influenza virus is almost unavoidable, and while contact does not necessarily mean infection, it does mean that you are never far from the possibility of catching influenza.

Immunisation against influenza is the best way to protect yourself and lessen the chance of spreading it to people who can develop serious complications from the virus. Protect yourself and others and get immunised against influenza. It might even be FREE for you.

  • Influenza isn’t just a bad cold – it can be serious and can kill 
  • Around 1.3 million kiwis had an influenza immunisation in 2018
  • Immunisation prepares your immune system to fight influenza
  • You cannot get influenza from the vaccine
  • Influenza immunisation is recommended and FREE for those most at risk of complications from flu:
    • people 65 years of age or older
    • pregnant women(any trimester)
    • for anybody under 65 with diabetes, most heart or lung conditions and some other illnesses.
    • Children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

The flu vaccine is a prescription medicine. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the benefits and possible risks, or call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)