Youth efforts to be flu strong recognised

Friday April 4, 2014

The Canterbury Health System wants to thank its youth for their efforts to be flu strong.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says last year our youth were the best in the country and we hope to do better still this year.

"In order to say thank you and to encourage our young people to get flu strong, Canterbury District Health Board has sponsored Titanium as the headline band for SummerzEnd, a free youth festival to be held at Jellie Park on 5 April, starting at noon. Visit www.summerzend.com for more details."

Dr Pink says if you are worried about recent reports of early outbreaks of seasonal flu in New Zealand, why not ease your mind and give yourself one less thing to worry about by getting immunised now, and get in before the crowds.

All you need to do is ring your normal GP number and ask about getting your flu shot. For many, such as pregnant women, people over 65 or under 18s or people with a chronic illness, it's free. If you do have to pay, it's likely to be the best $30-50 dollar investment you'll ever make.

"Besides sparing yourself a miserable week or so, getting immunised will cut down on the time you might have to take off work looking after a sick family once you are better.

"The sooner you are immunised, the sooner you will be protected and it is better to get in now, before general practices hit their busiest period."

This year is year the fourth year of the U18 programme.  It is the second year of the secondary school programme.

Also if you are interested we have vaccinated five percent of our U18s in the first month of this year's programme.

Canterbury is commitment to helping general practice protect our young people. Dedicated teams from the Public Health Nursing Service are offering free flu vaccinations to students in most Christchurch high schools for the second year running. Look out for notices in school newsletters or posters in schools to see if your child's school is participating.

"Alternatively, any Canterbury under 18 can be vaccinated by their general practice team if you'd rather they had it there," Dr Pink says.

Media enquiries please contact Canterbury DHB Media Advisor Amy Milne on (03) 364 4122, 027 502 7523, or amy.milne@cdhb.health.nz

Page last reviewed: 07 April 2014
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