Gore Hospital is urging people to book for this year’s flu vaccination as colder weather approaches and the winter bugs start to make an appearance.
Hospital quality assurance support officer Glenda Maxwell said hospital staff, board members and their families were being encouraged to take up an offer of a free flu vaccination to ward off winter nasties. If staff were vaccinated, it protected them as well as the hospital’s patients.
“Our plan is to protect our staff and also our patients we work with,” Mrs Maxwell said.
More than 60% of the hospital’s staff take advantage of the free vaccination and the number increased each year, she said.
The vaccine provided protection against flu strains that were prevalent in the northern hemisphere during the past winter, Mrs Maxwell said.
It was important to be vaccinated annually and immunity waned after a time as new strains of flu were identified, she said.
Mrs Maxwell had not had the flu since she began having the vaccinations, she said.
“I swear by it,” she said.
As well as encouraging staff to take advantage of the free flu vaccination, it was important for members of the community to be vaccinated, Mrs Maxwell said.
She encouraged people to see their GP as being vaccinated helped to protect them and their families.
Influenza facts: The key points on influenza released by the Ministry of Health this year include:One in four New Zealanders are infected with influenza each year.
Getting a vaccination before winter offers the best protection.
Pregnant women and their babies can suffer serious consequences as a result of flu.
A free vaccination during any trimester of the pregnancy reduces the risk.
Older people and those with some medical conditions are more likely to have complications from flu.