Flu Vaccine at Waiuku Health CentreFlu Vaccines are now available

Anyone can catch influenza or 'the flu' - being fit and healthy does not stop you from getting it, nor does the fact you've had it before, because the strains of influenza virus change from year to year.

Influenza is a serious and highly contagious illness - it can knock the healthiest of people out of action for a week or more. Flu is often called a respiratory disease, but it can affect the whole body. It can be life-threatening.

Having a 'flu shot' is the best way to protect against the unpleasant effects of influenza: headaches, fever and generalised body aches. It will also greatly reduce your risk of serious complications that can develop from the flu. As a result you'll have fewer days away from work and caring for family (and fewer days missing out on social activities or holidays).

Because it can take one to three days for flu symptoms to appear after being exposed to the flu virus, you can unknowingly pass it on. If you live or work with people who are at much greater risk of complications from flu than yourself - the elderly or those with long term conditions - it is worth you considering having the flu vaccination to help protect their health.

You can get the flu vaccine by making a single visit to your doctor or practice nurse. It takes two weeks after vaccination for the vaccine to be fully effective - you may still develop influenza in this time if you come into contact with the virus, so get it done early in time for winter. The flu vaccine is free for people aged 65 years and over or those under 65 with some long term health problems, e.g. Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Disease, Respiratory disease including asthmatics on regular preventive medication and most cancers.