Goodhew welcomes release of flu data

  • Jo Goodhew

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed the release of data which highlights the impact influenza can have, and the importance of getting vaccinated against it.

The data has been released by SHIVERS, the Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance. The New Zealand research is being led by the Institute of Environmental Science & Research and funded by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

One of the project’s objectives is to trace the effectiveness of influenza vaccine to guide targeted vaccination strategies for different groups in the population. 

“New Zealanders in total received a record 1.25 million doses of influenza vaccine this winter, compared to 1 million doses in 2012.

“Thanks to the SHIVERS data, we know that this winter’s influenza season resulted in a much lower rate of hospitalisation than last year’s.

“Nevertheless in terms of numbers, acute respiratory disease, which includes influenza, led to 7,000 hospitalisations, 226 admissions to intensive care and unfortunately, 21 deaths this winter.

“Finding ways to reduce the transmission and severity of these diseases will benefit the whole community,” Mrs Goodhew says.

“It’s a credit to New Zealand’s health system and its researchers that we’ve been able to attract this study.

“These results will help our own health planning, and contribute to worldwide efforts to track and respond to emerging influenza outbreaks.” Mrs Goodhew says.

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