Jabbed ..... Gore Medical Centre nurse Trudie Pope receives her influenza jab from nurse Keri McCelland. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS

Registered nurse Keri McClelland wants people to understand the importance of getting vaccinated against influenza.

Vaccinations have been available from Gore Medical Centre since April 1.

Getting vaccinated was about protecting the health of the whole community, Mrs McClelland said.

‘‘People often think, ‘I’m young, fit and healthy so why should I get the flu vaccine?’.

“But you’re actually protecting the vulnerable people around you.”

The vaccine protected against fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, and stomach upsets.

‘‘It reduces your chance of catching it. And if you do catch it, it’s going to be less severe, with less complications.’’

The vaccine also reduced hospitalisations and transmission, she said.

Mrs McClelland said the vaccination was in hot demand.

‘‘Don’t panic. Getting your vaccine in the next couple of weeks is OK,’’ she said.

Free flu vaccines are available to pregnant women, those aged over 65, Maori and Pacific people aged 55 to 64, children aged 6 months to 12 years and people with a range of qualifying medical conditions.

Patients could ring Gore Medical Centre reception to book a vaccine appointment.

Those who visited for a checkup were offered the flu vaccine. T

he Covid-19 vaccine would be offered at the same time.

Gore Health practice manager Christine Miller said up to 130 people a day had been vaccinated since the start of the month.

‘‘We have had a wonderful start to flu vaccination season,’’ Mrs Miller said.

Drive-through clinics were available on weekends at the Gore Health carpark.