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Only 495 children to be immunised for target

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Only 495 extra children who are about to turn two need to be immunised before 30 June for New Zealand to achieve the 95 percent immunisation coverage recommended by the World Health Organization this quarter.

"World Immunisation Week, 23-29 April, is an opportunity to encourage parents to protect their children from preventable diseases by getting them immunised on time" says Health Minister, Tony Ryall.

"High immunisation coverage is important to protect not only the health of individual children, but also to protect the community from the spread of disease.

"The vast majority of parents, about 90 percent, support immunisation. About 5 percent make a deliberate choice not to immunise which leaves a group who haven't made a decision or haven't got around to it. These are the parents we are working hard to reach to achieve our target of 95 percent coverage of two-year-olds by July this year.

"New Zealand's immunisation coverage has increased to record levels and is currently about 92 percent. In 2007 just 67 percent of two-year-olds had had the recommended vaccinations for their age.

"Close collaboration between the Ministry of Health, district health boards, primary health networks, GPs, practice nurses and other health providers has been instrumental in increasing coverage.

"Immunisation is one of the most effective, and cost-effective medical interventions to prevent disease. World Health Organization estimates immunisation prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths around the world each year.

"From July, our focus moves to making sure babies are immunised on time, with a new preventative health target that will see 95 percent of eight-month-olds fully immunised by December 2014.

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