Immunisation is one of the most effective ways of helping people stay well and free from many diseases. It is recommended by the World Health Organisation, the New Zealand Ministry of Health and medical authorities.
We see less vaccine preventable diseases in New Zealand due to the effectiveness of the National Immunisation Programme.
Immunisation for infants and children
National schedule immunisations are free for all children in New Zealand and are available at your GP. Click here to watch a Ministry of Health video about protecting your baby from serious diseases. Make sure you immunise your baby/child on time – at 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months, 15 months and 4 years old. Phone your family doctor or practice nurse to book an appointment to have these done.
Immunisation for pre-teenage children
There are immunisations on the National Immunisation Programme for children to have at age 11 (both boys and girls) and 12 years old (girls only). These immunisations are offered in year 7 and 8 at school by the Public Health School Based Service but they are also available at your family doctor if you would prefer to have your child immunised there. The Public Health School Based Service will send a consent form home with your child from school, in the earlier part of the school year (usually around March) for you to complete offering these immunisations. If you are wanting to have the immunisations at your GP or your child has already had them you can indicate this to the Public Health School Based Service on the consent form.
Immunisation in pregnancy
Pregnant women are encouraged to have immunisation to protect against influenza and whooping cough. Influenza and its complicatons can severely affect pregnant women and their babies, and whooping cough can be devastating if caught by a newborn baby. Having these immunisations in pregnancy protects mum but also gives her baby some protection against these diseases when it’s first born. Influenza immunisation can be given at any stage in pregnancy and is free during the influenza season, usually early March to the end of July. Whooping cough immunisation is given to women between 28 – 38 weeks pregnant and is available throughout the year. The whooping cough immunisation also boosts immunity to diphtheria and tetanus. These immunisations are recommended in every pregnancy. Talk to your midwife, family doctor or practice nurse.
Immunisations for adults
Adults are entitled to have protection against a number of diseases if they haven’t been immunised as a child. Talk to your practice nurse or ring 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) to find out more. Adults are also entitled to have tetanus boosters at 45 and 65 years of age.
Immunisations for people with certain health conditions
If you have an ongoing health condition there may be immunisations recommended for you. Please talk to you family doctor or practice nurse to find out more.