Prevention of infectious diseases through immunisation
Community and Public Health is committed to encouraging immunisation amongst New Zealanders. Our main focuses are promoting the benefits of vaccination programmes, and certifying the authorised and yellow fever vaccinators that provide this valuable service.
Some Reasons Why Vaccination is Important
Community and Public Health is an advocate for vaccination programmes because immunisation helps prevent against many diseases. Immunisation uses the body’s immune system to build resistance to specific infections.
An immunised individual helps protect the rest of the population by decreasing the possibility of a disease spreading. This is important for vulnerable people like infants, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems. However, this effect only occurs if enough people are vaccinated and is known as ‘herd immunity’.
New Zealand has a low child immunisation rate compared to other countries. This results in regular outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases every few years. The Ministry of Health has a specific target of 95 percent of infants aged eight-months will have completed their primary course of immunisation on time (six weeks, three months and five months immunisation events).
Contact the Communicable Disease staff at your local office for further information:
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6484
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169
For questions on immunisation and vaccination-preventable diseases, call:
9am – 4.30pm weekdays
Changes to the National Immunisation Schedule
PHARMAC have announced changes to the New Zealand National Immunisation Schedule that take effect in 2017.
From 1st January 2017, HPV immunisation will be free for everyone, male or female, aged 9 to 26.
From 1 July 2017, chickenpox immunisation will be free for all children at 15 months of age.
Year 7 and 8 Immunisation Videos
Both boys and girls are offered free immunisations at around age 11 against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis), and at around age 12 against human papillomavirus (HPV).
These immunisations are provided by general practices in Canterbury. Other parts of the South Island provide Year 7 immunisation through general practice and Year 8 at school.