News of six cases of English measles being confirmed in Hastings has prompted Plunket to restate the importance of immunisation.
“Immunisation is a vitally important a tool to protect New Zealand families and communities. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from the many childhood diseases that can affect New Zealand families today,” says Plunket clinical advisor Allison Jamieson.
Allison says these diseases can have serious complications and are often spread by family members or friends.
“Immunisation has a profoundly positive effect not only on the individual but on the whole of the population thereby improving community immunity from the disease.
“Immunisation is a free, proven way that parents can protect their children against 11 serious diseases, including measles, mumps and rubella. It is never too late to catch up, even if a child has fallen behind on the immunisation schedule,” she says.
If parents are not sure when their child is due for immunisation they can check the immunisation schedule at www.plunket.org.nz or call their doctor.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre also offers information and advice about immunisation and preventing the spread of infection through its toll-free line 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) and website http://www.immune.org.nz .
Plunket is one of many community groups that give immunisation information to parents and caregivers. For more information about immunisation you can talk to a Plunket nurse or call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 (24hours 7 days)