Doctors back flu shot

SHARE

An Oamaru doctor says flu vaccinations help “build a firewall” and is encouraging residents to make sure they get the jab before flu season begins.
Flu vaccinations are free for those over the age of 65, people who have chronic respiratory illnesses or asthma, and pregnant women.
Several other conditions also meet the free vaccine criteria, according to the Influenza Advisory Centre website. Unfunded, the vaccination costs about $30.
Dr Chris Rohrbach, of Oamaru Doctors, said a flu shot provided a “direct health benefit” for some but encouraged everyone to at least consider getting a jab.
“The rest of the population doesn’t have to have it, but the more that do, the more you can stop the virus getting to people who are more vulnerable,” he said.
“It’s well-invested money, I would say.
“We’re helping build a firewall. People can think whatever they like, but there is enough scientific evidence that the flu does exist and can be serious, and the jab does protect people from that virus.”This year, about 400 people had been vaccinated at Oamaru Doctors, he said.
“I think the uptake’s been very good so far. The more people that have it, the better. It stops the virus; stops it from penetrating.
“I would like to think it’s been a few more than last year.”Dr Jon Scott, of Central Medical, said between 30 and 40 people a day for the past three weeks had come to his practice for a flu shot.
While he felt that was encouraging, he believed there needed to be “additional education” about flu vaccinations.
“There are two misconceptions. People do believe they can catch the flu from the flu shot and the second is that they can’t get the flu,” Dr Scott said.
He said the flu vaccine created antibodies to fight infection, which meant people were able to fight flu off earlier.
om22flushots