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Demand for influenza jabs driven by H1N1

Apr 8th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


THIS WON'T HURT: Whitireia health nurse Tracy Mitchell immunises student Greg Ford.

IMMUNISATION nurses are expecting a jump in people wanting flu jabs this year, following the 2009 swine flu outbreak.

Whitireia Polytechnic nurse Tracy Mitchell says 250 people were immunised across its campuses last year and this year’s vaccination will also cover the H1N1 strain commonly labelled as “swine flu”.

“People were pretty scared, it was an unknown,” she says of the 2009 outbreak.

“We had no immunity so now people want to get immunity,” Tracy says.

Tracy is certain immunisation plays a big part in suppressing flu because of the way it is spread.

“All it takes is touching something with influenza on it, rub your nose, rub your mouth – it’s that easy.

“As well, a person talking or having sneezed nearby … the droplets from the back of the throat, containing the virus,” she says, imitating a spraying motion.

Tracy says the vaccine isn’t contagious.  Student Greg Wood won’t be harbouring any nasties after the jab to his arm, she says.

“The vaccine is completely inactivated so we can’t get anything from .”

However, Greg may be feeling like he’s just not right, “not running on all cylinders”, for a few days afterward, she says.

Many people who have the vaccine could have been exposed to something like a cold and because the shot doesn’t take effect for two weeks after the vaccination. Although they think the vaccine is the cause, it won’t be.

The vaccine won’t stop a common cold. The key difference of the flu is the fever and body aches.

“Influenza always has a fever greater than 38C.”

As well as H1N1, this year’s vaccination has a triple dose of antibodies from the Perth, Brisbane and Spanish strains of flu, some of the many hundreds of varieties around the world.

Tracy says the viruses fluctuate and as people become naturally immune the vaccines change to suit current requirements. H1N1 is from a strain that originates from 1918 in Spain and has the swine flu variation that makes up the whole dose.

When asked to comment on the sceptic’s view that immunisation is unnecessary, Tracy says that as a health professional she advises people to get the vaccination, regardless of how fit and healthy they may be.

“The flu doesn’t go, ‘oh well, you haven’t had it’, it just sees an opportunity and you are there, right time, right place.”

She recommends anyone pregnant, morbidly obese or from a lower socio-economic area get a free vaccine as the virus can jump easily among groups and greatly affects those with respiratory problems or asthma. Over-65s also get it free.

Wellington Whitireia campus receptionist Jill Longley has had the flu vaccination each yer for three years now and has had no side effects – or the flu.

“It hadn’t occurred to me to have it before,” she said. But working around students, Jill decided to take advantage of the offer from the organisation and get vaccinated, and “not be subject to more coughs and colds”.

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is A journalist who loves wide open spaces and fresh air, passionate about the world we live in and keeping our natural world as pristine as we can while still living happily. Responsibility is the first step. Toiti te whenua.
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  1. The usual remedy for common cold is just lots of water, fruit juice and also vitamin-C tablets..,~

  2. At least a hundred persons in our city have been infected with the H1N1 virus. I was very scared to get infected with this disease during the pandemic;..

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