21 Apr 2015

Vaccine expected to be good match for flu

2:39 pm on 21 April 2015

An immunisation expert says this year's flu vaccine should be much more effective than the one used in Britain and Europe during their winter.

Syringes filled with flu vaccine (California).

Photo: AFP

The 2015 immunisation campaign was launched by the Health Minister, Jonathan Coleman, at Victoria University today.

Vaccine supplies were a few weeks late reaching New Zealand, because new strains had to be added after the northern hemisphere vaccine was less effective than expected.

Auckland University immunisation advisory centre director Nikki Turner said the vaccine being distributed throughout New Zealand should be better.

Speaking at today's flu immunisation campaign launch, she said: "The vaccine in the northern hemisphere winter just gone was not a good match for the circulating flu.

"They have changed two strains in the vaccine that's available in New Zealand this year, so we are expecting and predicting there will be a much better match for the vaccine we're using, compared to what the Europeans had in the season just gone."

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman had a flu jab today and urged others to do the same as soon as they can.

He was at the immunisation campaign launch at the University today.

He told the gathering that even young people who are fit and well should get vaccinated, and those with chronic illnesses, including asthma and diabetes, particularly need the protection provided by immunisation.

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