Sign Up

Plunket lends its support to World Immunisation Week

News Item

posted by WM Admin on 2015-04-24 09:08:30.753

Location

National

Plunket media release, 24 April 2015

Plunket says World Immunisation Week, which kicks off today (24 April), is a wonderful opportunity to promote the importance of immunisation to communities throughout New Zealand.

World Immunisation Week (24-30 April) is a World Health Organization initiative to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

PlunketLine National Advisor Elaine Gordon says immunisation is a vitally important a tool to protect New Zealand families and communities.

“Childhood immunisation is one of the most effective ways to protect the health of your children, family, and community. The World Health Organization ranks immunisation among the most cost-effective public health measures ever developed,” she says.

“Immunisation is a free, proven way that parents can protect their children against 11 serious diseases, including measles and whooping cough.

“It is never too late to catch up on immunisations, even if a child has fallen behind on the immunisation schedule,” she says. “The free whooping cough immunisation is also available for any woman who is between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant. This helps protect the baby as some of the mother’s immunity is passed to the baby.”

The rate of New Zealand children who are fully immunised is increasing steadily. New Zealand’s immunisation rates for babies aged 8 months are higher than they have ever been, with an immunisation rate of 93.5% reached in December 2014. Plunket says it is encouraged by this, and would like to see the rate continue to rise. “Families tell us that getting the right information at the right time helps them make an informed decision about immunisation.”

At every Well Child health check, Plunket Nurses share information about immunisation with families and caregivers. If parents are not sure when their child is due for immunisation they can check the immunisation schedule at www.plunket.org.nz or call their doctor or practise nurse.

Plunket is inviting families to join its Facebook live chat when PlunketLine nurses will be on hand to answer questions from parents and caregivers on supporting your child through their immunisation journey. The chat will take place at 8-9pm on 27th May at facebook.com/PlunketNZ.

Plunket is one of many community groups that give immunisation information to parents and caregivers. For more information about immunisation you can talk to a Plunket nurse or call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 (24 hours 7 days).

The Immunisation Advisory Centre also offers information and advice about immunisation and preventing the spread of infection through its toll-free line 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) and www.immune.org.nz.