The Asthma Foundation of New Zealand is urging people with respiratory conditions such as Bronchiectasis to get their flu vaccines now in order to help stay out of the hospital when flu season finally arrives in winter.
The Asthma Foundation is committed to advising everyone with a respiratory illness to receive a vaccination against influenza soon; vaccines are available in New Zealand until July.
“The flu season is about to begin and it is important for people with respiratory conditions to get their free flu vaccination before winter,” explained Kyle Perrin, the medical director of the Asthma Foundation. Data from last year indicated that that 1.2 million New Zealanders took advantage of the flu vaccination.
In New Zealand, a vaccine to prevent the flu is free for everyone with respiratory illnesses, as well as children between six months and five years old, individuals with asthma that utilize an inhaler and people 65 years and older.
“People with any long term respiratory condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and bronchiectasis are at higher risk of complications from influenza than others. For the best protection, we advise they get a flu vaccination now as immunisation typically takes up to two weeks to take effect. Influenza is a serious illness, every winter we see people admitted to hospital with the flu who are extremely unwell, and some require intensive care admission. Also, we strongly advise that flu vaccinations are sorted out now for kids who have respiratory illnesses. Flu vaccinations are an important part of effectively managing asthma and other respiratory conditions,” noted Perrin.
While New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere and heading into the winter season, their public health message is likely to be echoed by health advocates in the U.S. at the end of the summer in the northern hemisphere for those suffering from Bronchiectasis and other respiratory diseases.
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