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Doctors, nurses and pharmacists debunk myths about flu vaccine

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

As winter approaches, so does flu season and health experts are calling for people to ignore common misconceptions about the flu vaccine in an effort to reduce the number of New Zealanders getting the flu this winter.

Around one in four New Zealanders gets the flu each year, taking an average of five sick days off work, at a cost of $1.51 billion to the New Zealand economy. For some, the illness can be fatal and the high number of people suffering severe flu symptoms each year is placing pressure on hospitals and medical centres throughout New Zealand.

Those at the highest risk include young children, adults 65 years or older and pregnant women, however the flu can affect anyone causing severe symptoms, regardless of health. Contrary to common belief, people of all ages and fitness levels are at risk of falling victim each year.

Local pharmacists and medical centre teams are available nationwide to administer free flu vaccinations to pregnant women and those 65 years and older in a move to increase awareness and improve uptake for those who are most vulnerable. In addition, people with certain long term medical conditions can visit their medical centre for a free vaccination from a nurse or GP.

Green Cross Health, the group behind Unichem, Life Pharmacy and The Doctors medical centres, aims to help keep New Zealanders healthy this winter.

Green Cross Health Group Manager, Professional Services, Alison Van Wyk says "There are a number of people in New Zealand who unnecessarily put themselves and their families at risk of contracting the flu every year.

"It’s important for New Zealanders to be informed on the benefits as well as understand the myths that surround flu vaccination. We encourage people in our communities to get protected this winter," says Ms Van Wyk.

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