We need you to help keep these guys (the flu bugs) out of Canterbury

As you know, getting your flu shot every year is the best protection against getting the flu.

Influenza is a serious illness and around 80 percent of infected people show no symptoms (but may be spreading it).

Widespread vaccination is important for individuals and communities as it’s our best shot at reducing the impact of influenza.

Are you part of a sports or social club, church group, or iwi? Do you work with a diverse interest group? Do you have a social media presence? We need your help to spread the word about immunisation – whether you’re part of a knitting circle, bee-keepers club, kids’ play-group, walking or cycling group – ask the question of your friends and family: have you had your flu shot? And help us spread the word.

We’ve created a website – www.flufree.co.nz – packed with engaging content, useful facts and myth-busting, an interactive ‘build a germ’ game for kids (and big kids), information about where you can get vaccinated, and a resource hub to help people and organisations easily spread the messages about getting vaccinated to their networks. These resources include downloadable posters, screensavers, social media tiles, information for newsletters and email signatures.

Let your friends and family know about the flufree website, download a poster or social media tile and send it on or post on your Facebook page. You can also create your own flu bug and share it on your facebook page to help raise awareness. If you have kids it’s a fun activity that’ll keep them entertained for at least 5 minutes…and the flu quiz is a bit of fun too.

We particularly want to reach these people:
• The key groups that are funded to receive free flu shots: over 65s; pregnant women; people under 65 with long-term health conditions; children with respiratory illness; and under 18s living in the Kaikoura and Hurunui areas
• Young people (as they are excellent germ spreaders) and their parents
• Māori and Pacific people (especially over 65s) who commonly have lower vaccination rates.
• All healthcare workers

When you’re out and about this week – remember to ask the question: have you had your flu shot? If the answer’s ‘not yet’ remind them to book in with their general practice team, or check the www.flufree.co.nz website for a list of pharmacies offering vaccinations this year.

We encourage everyone over the age of 6 months to consider becoming immunised against influenza. Flu immunisation is free for anyone aged 65 years or over and pregnant women.
It is also available free of charge to anyone under 65 with a long-term health condition such as, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, kidney disease and most cancers.
All the details are on www.flufree.co.nz