Local mayors get behind flu vaccination campaign (Archived)

Thursday 30 March 2017

Media release

The region’s three mayors have put their names, and arms, behind a campaign to encourage local people to get a flu vaccination before the onset of winter.

The mayors are joining local doctors in urging people get vaccinated to guard against the worst of winter illnesses.

“A flu vaccination is one of the best ways to stay well during winter,” said Masterton GP Tony Becker. “Now is the best time to get vaccinated, before winter arrives to ensure you’re protected before the flu season starts.

The three Wairarapa mayors are happy to support a campaign to help keep the community well during the cold Wairarapa months.

“I encourage everyone to have the flu vaccine as it provides the best protection against an unpredictable and potentially life-threatening virus. It’s not just about protecting yourself, it’s also about protecting your family and others you come into contact with,” said Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson.

Carterton Mayor John Booth added: “I urge people to look after themselves and look out for their loved ones and neighbours this winter, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable. With winter on the way now is the time to ensure that you and people you know are as well prepared for winter as possible.”

Viv Napier, Mayor of South Wairarapa, agreed. “By immunising against flu you can protect yourself and lessen the chance of bringing it home to a baby or older relative. It’s not just the initial symptoms which are an issue, people with existing medical conditions can develop serious complications from influenza.”

Flu vaccinations are free for pregnant women, for those aged over 65 and for people with certain medical conditions. People can contact their local medical centre to check if they’re eligible and to book an appointment. Flu vaccinations are also available at Southend Pharmacy in Masterton.

Doctors are also encouraging local workplaces to offer flu vaccinations to their staff.

“Vaccinating your staff is a good way of keeping them well during winter and your business operating,” said Dr Becker.

Wairarapa medical centres did flu vaccinations at over 100 workplaces last year, with businesses ranging from supermarkets to vet practices, schools and timber yards offering vaccinations to their staff. Other businesses provided vouchers to their staff to get a flu vaccination at their local medical centre.

With the change to daylight savings coming up, doctors are urging locals to get ‘winter ready’ in other ways during the countdown to the colder months.

“If you or someone in your family gets asthma, now is the time to check you have inhalers ready to use if you need them,” Dr Becker says. “Make sure you have a good supply at home, in your bag and at work or school. Contact your local medical centre nurse if you need a refresher on how to use your or your child’s inhaler.

“It’s also a good time to stock up on any regular medication you use and to check your first aid kit is up to date in case it’s needed.”

Dr Becker said the start of the winter sport season next week was a timely reminder to take steps to avoid injuries on the sports field as well.

“Remember to warm up before games and cool down and stretch afterwards. Drink plenty of water before, during and after sport, and exercise between games to keep your fitness up.”

Photo caption: Wairarapa mayors Lyn Patterson (Masterton), John Booth (Carterton) and Viv Napier (South Wairarapa) with Compass Health District Immunisation Co-ordinator Tina Tyacke. The mayors are urging locals to get a flu vaccination to protect against getting the flu this winter.

For more information contact:
Dr Tony Becker, Masterton Medical GP, phone 027 496 0447

Compass Health Programme co-ordinator, Catherine Sands Wearing, phone 0274 303 519Compass Health logo

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