The island-wide flu immunisation programme started last week and more than 700 people have already had their flu shots. Rachel Falconer, nurse leader at the Ostend Medical Centre who is managing the flu programme, hopes to have highrisk groups protected from influenza by mid to late April. “It is important to note that we are ahead of the game with flu immunisation as we don’t usually see cases of the flu until mid-May. ” The Ministry of Health has acquired more than 400,000 extra doses of the flu vaccine for all of New Zealand, and is in the process of distributing the vaccines to GPs – although the high volumes and demand may cause slight delays – because a flu shot this year is more important than ever. Claire Stinton, one of the nurses providing the immunisations, explained how flu shots are being prioritised for those who need them most.

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