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March 28, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Student Health Services – Now’s the time to get your ‘flu’ vaccination

Seasonal influenza (‘flu’) vaccine has arrived at the Student Health Service (SHS)

With the support of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA), nurses from SHS are currently holding free influenza vaccination clinics on campus.
In late March and early April, the nursing team will be visiting the Halls of Residences between 5pm and 7pm. For dates please check with your Hall. Lunchtime clinics will be held in the Student Union Building on the Kelburn campus between 11:30am-1:30pm on Tuesday 5th April, Wednesday 6th April and Thursday 7th April 2011. For students who study at the Pipitea campus, please contact the Student Health Service at Pipitea on 464 7474 to arrange an appointment.

One of the first people to receive the vaccine in New Zealand this year was Bonnie Leung (22).

Bonnie, who is a fifth-year medical student at Auckland University, fell ill with pandemic H1N1 Influenza (swine flu) in July 2009. She spent a terrible two-and-a-half weeks in intensive care and almost died from this serious disease. There was no vaccine available to combat swine flu at the time.

Previously fit and healthy, Bonnie struggled for almost a year to fully recover from her illness and now she wants to protect not only herself but others from a similar experience.
“I hadn’t really thought about vaccination before because I was rarely sick. But now I realise anyone can catch influenza and it can be devastating.”

The 2011 seasonal influenza vaccine includes protection against three types of flu, including the Pandemic H1N1 Influenza 09 (swine flu), which is expected to be the predominant virus in New Zealand this season.

“Most years the strains covered by the seasonal influenza vaccine change. 2011 is unusual in that the strains are the same as in 2010. People who were vaccinated last year, however, should still be vaccinated again this year because the immunity offered by current vaccines lessens over time, so a further vaccination is likely to offer better protection for the 2011 season,” explains National Influenza Strategy Group spokesperson, Dr Nikki Turner.

Dr Turner says people need to be immunised as soon as possible before winter as it can take up to two weeks to develop immunity after vaccination.

“Although swine flu is mild-to-moderate for most people, it can lead to serious complications and even death for others.” Influenza immunisation is free as soon as vaccine is available for New Zealanders at high risk of complications—people aged 65 and over, and anyone under 65 years of age with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including people who have asthma and take preventer medication), kidney disease and most cancers.

People who don’t qualify for a free government-funded flu vaccine can get it through their general practice for a small charge. Many employers also offer free immunisation to their employees. If you are enrolled as a student at Victoria University visit one of the VUWSA/SHS influenza vaccine clinics or contact the Student Health Service to arrange an appointment.

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  1. I will be happy if its for free. great post!Health Clinic

  2. My Name says:

    best url ever

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