Plunket says World Immunisation Week, which kicks off today (24 April), is a wonderful opportunity to promote the importance of immunisation to communities throughout New Zealand.
World Immunisation Week (24-30 April) is a World Health Organization initiative to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
PlunketLine National Advisor Elaine Gordon says immunisation is a vitally important a tool to protect New Zealand families and communities.
“Childhood immunisation is one of the most effective ways to protect the health of your children, family, and community. The World Health Organization ranks immunisation among the most cost-effective public health measures ever developed,” she says.
“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. “The free whooping cough immunisation is also available for any woman who is between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant. This helps protect the baby as some of the mother’s immunity is passed to the baby.”
The rate of New Zealand children who are fully immunised is increasing steadily. New Zealand’s immunisation rates for babies aged 8 months are higher than they have ever been, with an immunisation rate of 93.5% reached in December 2014. Plunket says it is encouraged by this, and would like to see the rate continue to rise. “Families tell us that getting the right information at the right time helps them make an informed decision about immunisation.”
At every Well Child health check, Plunket Nurses share information about immunisation with families and caregivers. 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.
Plunket is inviting families to join its Facebook live chat when PlunketLine nurses will be on hand to answer questions from parents and caregivers on supporting your child through their immunisation journey. The chat will take place at 8-9pm on 27th May at facebook.com/PlunketNZ.
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).
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.
For more information contact:
Jen Riches | Plunket Media Manager
021 405 842 firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors
For more about Immunization Week go to: http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2015/en/
For over a century Plunket has supported New Zealand parents to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.
Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five.
Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).
Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.
For more information visit plunket.org.nz.
About BNZ – Principal Sponsor
Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.
BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country's upbringing.