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Asthma Foundation urge people to get flu vaccine

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

If you have a respiratory condition, get your free flu vaccine now and stay out of hospital this winter.

The Asthma Foundation is strongly advising people with a respiratory illness to get their free influenza vaccination soon.

"The flu season is about to begin and it is important for people with respiratory conditions to get their free flu vaccination before winter," says Dr Kyle Perrin, medical director of the Asthma Foundation.

Last year around 1.2 million New Zealanders had a flu vaccination.

The flu vaccine is free for: children from six months to under the age of five with significant respiratory illnesses; people with chronic health conditions; people with respiratory conditions; people with asthma who use a preventer; and everyone 65 years and over.

"People with any long term respiratory condition, such as COPD, asthma and bronchiectasis are at higher risk of complications from influenza than others. For the best protection, we advise they get a flu vaccination now as immunisation typically takes up to two weeks to take effect. Influenza is a serious illness, every winter we see people admitted to hospital with the flu who are extremely unwell, and some require intensive care admission."

"Also, we strongly advise that flu vaccinations are sorted out now for kids who have respiratory illnesses. Flu vaccinations are an important part of effectively managing asthma and other respiratory conditions," Dr Perrin says.

"And no matter how ‘in shape’ we think we are, we’re still at risk. You’re never too fit to get hit," Dr Perrin says.

Free flu vaccinations are available until the end of July from your GP or some pharmacies.

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