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Another month to get flu jabs

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/07/2016

This year's flu season hasn't yet hit its peak, so people are being given an extra month to get a flu jab.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the 2016 influenza immunisation programme will be extended until the end of August.

"While we've had great uptake of the influenza vaccine this year, there may be people who haven't got around to getting immunised," he said.

Ministry of Health surveillance data suggests flu rates haven't yet peaked this winter.

"If levels start to increase in late winter as they did last year, it's important that people can still access the vaccine," Dr Coleman said.

Almost 1.23 million flu vaccines have been distributed across the country so far this winter.

The vaccine is free for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with long term health conditions such as severe asthma, and children under five who have been hospitalised for a respiratory illness.

Those who aren't eligible for free immunisation can purchase it from general practices and some pharmacies.

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