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March 12, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Student Health: Get Immunised! Because Immunisations Save Lives

Thought you had all the immunisations you need when you were a baby or while you were at school? Umm, wrong.

Immunity from some vaccines weakens over time and to maintain protection booster shots are required. At different times in life we are more at risk of developing certain vaccine-preventable diseases. It doesn’t matter how young, strong, beautiful, intelligent, politically aware or creative you are, these vaccine-preventable diseases are capable of making you extremely ill; potentially permanently damaging you or even killing you.

Some vaccines are especially recommended for young adults living in shared accommodation such as Residential Halls and flats. These are Meningococcal C, Measles and if you have not had chicken pox the Varicella vaccine. You may also require a booster for Pertussis also known as Whooping Cough.

In recent months there have been 15 cases of Measles in the Wellington Region including a student from Victoria University. To be fully protected from measles you need to have two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine over the age of twelve months.

One vaccine which is recommended every year is the influenza vaccine.

Bonnie Leung (22) was young and fit and studying medicine at Auckland University when she developed influenza caused by the HINI (swine flu) strain of the virus. Bonnie spent two and half weeks in intensive care and almost died from this serious disease. It took her a year to fully recover. “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 nurses from the Student Health Service will be visiting Residential Halls in the early evenings and holding lunchtime clinics on the Karori, Te Aro and Kelburn campuses throughout March. The vaccine will be free. Clinic times and locations will be advertised on our website and around campus. The clinic at Karori will be held on the 15th March. The clinics on the Kelburn campus will be held in the Student Union Building during the week of 19th March. Students on the Pipitea campus can be seen at the SHS clinic in the West Wing of the Wellington Railway Station.

The influenza vaccine is also funded by the Ministry of Health for people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, or people with asthma who take a preventer inhaler.

If you are unsure if you need any more immunisations talk to the friendly and knowledgeable doctors and nurses at the SHS. We can advise you about which vaccines we would recommend for you.

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