The importance of Immunisations

Immunisations are provided at all primary care practices and are one of the most important services they provide. Immunisation has led to the decline of many lethal diseases including meningococcal B meningitis.

Flu and Covid Vaccines  – 2021

We are pleased to see the enthusiasm in our community for vaccination against influenza and COVID 19. Unfortunately, we are completely reliant on the Ministry of Health and local DHBs to determine the timing of vaccine rollouts. We will be communicating to our patients via regular emails as the phased Flu and Covid vaccine rollout progresses

Flu vaccinations will be done in Stages:

Stage 1 – from 12 April: Eligible – over 65 years

Currently vaccinating from Monday 12th April for the 65-year-old plus group. The vaccine will be a newly developed Fluad Quad vaccine which has much improved protection (>65%) in this age group against flu, hospital admission and pneumonia than normal flu vaccines (protection around 11%).

We are keen to vaccinate as many of the 65 + year old age group as quickly as possible, so that this group can subsequently have the COVID -19 vaccine when it becomes available. There needs to be a 14-day gap between the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Once the COVID -19 vaccine is rolled out, that will take priority and at that time we suggest starting with COVID -19 vaccination then 2 weeks after completing the course to have the flu vaccination.

Stage 2 from 17 May: Eligible – 3yrs to 64 years who have medical conditions which make them more vulnerable to flu (e.g.– those with cancer, heart disease, asthma, autoimmune conditions, etc.). This is the Afluria Quad flu vaccine.

Stage 3 from 17 May: Eligible younger children (aged 6-35 months) for Afluria Junior flu vaccination for those high-risk youngsters.

Stage 4 from 17 May: Non-eligible or private (not funded) the flu vaccine can be rolled out to those not eligible for funded vaccines, allowing us to protect our whole team of 5 million.

COVID 19 vaccinations

The Pfizer Covid vaccine
Every New Zealander over the age of 16 will be entitled to two Comirnaty Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, given at least 3 weeks apart. From the experience of our own staff the vaccinations are very well tolerated, and we highly recommend them. We will provide more vaccine information in due course but included are some links to some trusted sites.

When will it be available?
Currently it appears most of the vaccination will be in larger central vaccination centres initially. We expect to be offering Covid vaccination by July,  awaiting go ahead by local DHB decisions for Auckland.

The bottom line is that we want our patients to all be offered the vaccine and encourage you to take it up as soon as possible when you are offered it, regardless of where you need to attend for it. The sooner we all get vaccinated the safer we all will be. There is nothing you must do at this stage – you will be contacted when it is your turn.

Further information
For more information about the pFizer (Comirnaty) vaccine please visit the following sites:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-types-vaccines/covid-19-pfizer-biontech-comirnaty-vaccine

https://www.immune.org.nz/covid-19-vaccines

https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccines/getting-a-covid-19-vaccine/find-out-when-you-can-get-a-vaccine/

https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/Vaccine-resources/COVID-19-Getting-your-COVID-19-vaccine-What-to-expect.pdf

Measles Vaccinations

It is still critically important for everyone aged between 15 and 30 years to check that they have had 2 MMR vaccinations and if not to visit HealthZone Medical to get protected for free.