Southern District Health Board nurse co-ordinator Yvonne
Stewart administers ''the flu jab'' to Public Health South
Queenstown health protection officer Kimberlee McMeeking in
the Lakes District Hospital last week. Photo by Frederique
Dark and sometimes frosty mornings signal winter is
coming and the Southern District Health Board is reminding the
community the influenza vaccine is free for New Zealanders at
high risk of complications.
Pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and people of any
age with long-term health conditions such as heart disease,
stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease including serious
asthma, kidney disease and most cancers are eligible for
Although flu symptoms are similar to the common cold, they
tend to be more severe and last longer.
Flu symptoms include sudden high temperature, headache,
general aches and pains, tiredness and sore throat. Symptoms
can make the sufferer feel so exhausted and unwell they have
to stay in bed and rest until they feel better.
Public Health South Queenstown medical officer Derek Bell
said the flu was far more serious than a cold and highly
contagious. It could affect anyone, no matter how healthy or
''This is why it is important to get the jab so that as well
improving your chances against getting the flu you also avoid
spreading it to the people you care about, your family
members - especially the old and young - your friends, work
colleagues and clients,'' Dr Bell said.
''We encourage all people to consider getting vaccinated and
would like to remind certain groups that they can have the
influenza vaccine free of charge.''