Plunket says World Immunisation Week, which kicks off on Monday, is a wonderful opportunity to promote the importance of immunisation to communities throughout New Zealand.
World Immunisation Awareness Week (22-29 April) is a World Health Organization initiative to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
Plunket clinical advisor Allison Jamieson says immunisation is a vitally important a tool to protect New Zealand families and communities.
“The World Health Organization ranks immunisation among the most cost-effective public health measures ever developed. Immunisation has a profoundly positive effect not only on the individual but on the whole of the population, as it helps improve community immunity”, she says.
Alison says that unfortunately, a misconception still exists that diseases such as measles and whooping cough are not serious.
“This could not be further from the truth. Measles and whooping cough are both highly contagious and can be life threatening.
“Immunisation is a free, proven way that parents can protect their children against 11 serious diseases, including measles and whooping cough.
“It is never too late to catch up on immunisations, even if a child has fallen behind on the immunisation schedule,” she says.
If parents are not sure when their child is due for immunisation they can check the immunisation schedule at www.plunket.org.nz or call their doctor or practise nurse.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre also offers information and advice about immunisation and preventing the spread of infection through its toll-free line 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) and www.immune.org.nz
Plunket is one of many community groups that give immunisation information to parents and caregivers. For more information about immunisation you can talk to a Plunket nurse or call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 (24 hours 7 days).
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For more information contact:
Nikki Prendergast (nee. Hooper) | Plunket Media Manager
021 405 842 Nikki.firstname.lastname@example.org