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  • Dr. Young Lee

Flu vaccines 2022

Flu vaccines 2022 Hi guys! It’s that time of the year again. Remember that other respiratory disease that we use to worry about? Well - yeah - it’s time to get vaccinated. Now - as you are all aware, international travel is returning this year. We will basically be sharing all those bugs from overseas again. Given that flu vaccine rates were really, really poor the last 2 years (we had to return boxes last year) - the expectation is that we should have a “smashing” flu season this year. Plus everyone has not had the flu for 2 years - so we are all essentially immune naïve to the strains going around. Anyway - if you don’t want to get covid19 and flu (hopefully not together), please get vaccinated. Vaccinations will begin 1 April 2022. Please reply to this email to book your vaccines with the nurse. Who can get the vaccine? Everyone aged 6 months and up. If you are under 9, and you have never had a flu jab before you need 2 injections. Everyone else needs 1 jab (i.e. age 9 and over, or under 9 if you’ve previously had a flu vaccine). Who gets it for free?

  • Older people - I’m choosing my words carefully here. Age 65 and over.

  • Pregnant women

  • Under 65 with chronic medical problems - i.e. cancer (excluding mild skin cancers like BCC, SCC), autoimmune conditions (inflammatory arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease), lung problems (asthma with regular steroid inhaler use, COPD), heart attack or stroke, heart operations, diabetes, chronic renal disease

  • Children age 4 and under who have been hospitalized with respiratory illnesses or have a history of significant respiratory illness (recurrent chest infections, asthma requiring steroids)

People with stable high blood pressure or asthma only requiring occasional inhalers are excluded. I want the vaccine - but it’s not free for me. How much does it cost? $35 per jab. If you are under 9, and have never had a flu vaccine - you’ll need 2 jabs i.e. $70. Special vaccines for older people (age 65 and over) Last year, a special type of adjuvated vaccine was funded for older people. The adjuvant is a special material that makes the immune system respond better to the vaccine. Older people have a less active immune system that may not mount as effective an immune response to the vaccine as younger people. Generally the studies show that rest home elderly patients seem to go to hospital 20-30% less with the adjuvated vaccine. This year this vaccine is NOT funded. It is still recommended to get this vaccine if possible. Consider this a nice to have. It will cost $50 to have the adjuvated vaccine. Please email us and let us know if you’re interested in having the special vaccine. I guess the government ran out of money after paying for all those covid19 vaccines. Oh well. Please let us know if you are interested in getting the adjuvated vaccine. We have only ordered a small amount - but if there is interest we will order more. Should I get the flu vaccine? Hardly anyone got the flu in the last 2 years? There was hardly any international travel in the last 2 years - resulting in some of the lowest flu rates in New Zealand’s history. However, this year we should expect quite a bit more flu. So yes - it’s a good idea to get the flu vaccine. It’s probably about 60-80% effective at preventing flu. Even if you do get flu, you’re less likely to get severely ill. There is a serious risk of getting both flu and covid19 either at the same time, or one after the other. So getting adequate protection from both is a good idea. It’s a bit like wearing a seat belt. You don’t only wear a seatbelt if you know there is going to be an accident. And if you do get into an accident, the seatbelt will protect you quite a bit. Just a quick update for everyone. Enjoy the rest of the warm weather while it lasts!

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