Preventing 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 vaccinators who provide this valuable service.
Some reasons why vaccination is important
Community and Public Health is an advocate for vaccination programmes because immunisation uses the body’s immune system to build resistance to serious diseases.
An immunised individual helps protect vulnerable people in the community by decreasing the possibility of a disease spreading. These vulnerable people are infants, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems. This protective effect only occurs if enough people are vaccinated and is called ‘herd immunity’.
New Zealand has a low child immunisation rate compared with other countries. This results in regular outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. The Ministry of Health’s target is that 95 percent of infants will have completed their primary course of immunisation on time (at six weeks, three months and five months of age).
The new Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR) is here
New Zealanders can receive vaccinations from a range of health providers over their lifetime. At the moment, health providers can’t always get a full picture of a person’s vaccination history to help them and the consumer make the best health decisions.
AIR has replaced the ageing National Immunisation Register (NIR) and:
- provides an accurate understanding of population immunisation coverage rates. This means programmes can be planned better to support populations with the lowest immunisation rates;
- reduces digital barriers and support the health sector to deliver better immunisation services; and
- gives New Zealanders a way to record and track immunisations they have received and are entitled to.
- Initial Priorities for the National Immunisation Programme in Aotearoa (Te Whatu Ora 2023).
Contact the Communicable Disease staff at your local office for further information:
CANTERBURY, MID CANTERBURY AND CHATHAM ISLANDS
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
For questions on immunisation and vaccination-preventable diseases, call:
8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
For questions on the COVID-19 vaccine and how to book, call:
0800 28 29 26
8am to 8pm – 7 days a week.
0800 11 12 12 or text 8988 if you have a disability (24/7).
How to book a vaccine appointment
Other vaccines can be booked directly with your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider – including those for children under the age of 13.
The HPV vaccine is safe, long-lasting and it’s FREE
HPV is a common virus that can cause 6 types of cancer – in the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and mouth/throat.
HPV vaccination can provide long-term protection for tamariki from HPV cancers.
The FREE vaccine is offered through most schools in Year 8. This is the best age to get it. If tamariki miss getting the HPV vaccine at school, they can still get it free at their medical centre.
Teens and young adults who didn’t have the HPV vaccine in Year 8 also need to be vaccinated. It’s free through their medical centre or family planning clinic up until their 27th birthday.