Vaccinations

Vaccination

Our pharmacists are qualified vaccinators and are able to administer a number of vaccinations in the privacy of one our pharmacy consultation rooms.

 

Our pharmacists are able to administer the following vaccinations Tdap (Boostrix®, Whooping Cough), seasonal influenza, Meningococcal, Shingles (Zostavax® Varicella zoster) and MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) we will also be offering the COVID19 vaccination when it is rolled out to the public.

Influenza Vaccination 

The influenza vaccine (also called the flu vaccine) is used to prevent infection caused by the influenza (flu) virus. The flu can cause serious illness, especially in young children, the elderly and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus. Even if you are not feeling sick, you could still be infected with the flu virus and pass it on to others. 

Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection and reduce the seriousness of illness if you become infected. It will greatly improve your chances of not getting the flu, but it does not give 100% protection. 

Being vaccinated causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus. This means your body can respond faster and more effectively to the flu. By first coming across a non-infectious version of the virus in the vaccine, it learns to recognise it. When it comes across it again, your body can react much faster and in a more effective way.

Even if you get the flu after being vaccinated, you usually get a mild form of it and recover faster, and are less likely to have serious complications.

You need to get the flu vaccine every year because protection from the previous vaccination becomes less effective over time. Also, each year the flu vaccine is developed to match the different strains of flu virus you are likely to encounter.

The influenza (flu) vaccination is available from April to June each year. 

Below is a copy of the consent form for you to fill out before coming into the pharmacy for your vaccination. 

 

Whooping Cough Vaccination 

In New Zealand the Whooping Cough vaccination is called Boostrix.  It contains strains to protect you against tetanus,  diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough), which are all life-threatening diseases caused by bacterial infections.

Boostrix is recommended, though not funded for:

  • Health care staff who work with infants less than one year of age

  • Staff working in long term care facilities

  • Early childhood education staff

  • Students in training for occupations with children

  • Household and other close contacts of infants less than one year of age

  • Adults with a medical condition who prevention of pertussis is important, e.g. those with chronic respiratory/lung disease

  • In pregnancy

Meningococcal Vaccination 

Young people living in shared hostel or boarding accommodation are potentially at increased risk of developing meningococcal disease.

The current childhood vaccines given in New Zealand do not protect against meningococcal disease. The New Zealand government recommends “adolescents and young adults living in communal accommodation such as a hostel or boarding school have a meningococcal conjugate vaccine.”

Meningococcal disease is very serious and needs urgent medical treatment. Illness may develop slowly over one or two days, or may develop quickly over just a few hours. Treatment is with antibiotics, and early treatment is critical. Diagnosis can be difficult early in the illness, and with delays, meningococcal disease can be fatal.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccination 

Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of latent (sleeping) varicella-zoster virus, usually years after having chickenpox disease or vaccination. 

The risk of developing herpes zoster increases with advancing age.

As many as one in three people will have herpes zoster in their lifetime.

Of those aged 85 years, at least half will have had herpes zoster.  The risk of post-herpetic neuralgia increases with older age at the time of herpes zoster.

Who can have Zostavax?

Zostavax is approved for use from 50 years of age. There is no upper age limit to receive the vaccine. The ability of Zostavax to prevent herpes zoster decreases over a few years after vaccination, so giving Zostavax too young cannot guarantee protection for older ages. Zostavax is available for non-funded adults aged 50–64 years and 81 years or older from the pharmacy or funded for adults 65 to 80 years at the General Practice. 

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccination 

Vaccination with the MMR vaccine is the best way to protect against measles, mumps and rubella. While these infections may be mild in some people, they can cause serious complications in others.

  • Measles: The infection can be serious, with 1 in 10 needing to go to hospital. Complications include diarrhoea (which can lead to dehydration), ear infections (which can cause hearing loss), pneumonia (which is the most common cause of death) and encephalitis (brain inflammation), which can cause brain damage. 

  • Mumps: The symptoms of mumps are usually mild, such as swollen salivary glands (at the side of your face), headache and fever, but it can cause serious complications such as deafness, swollen testicles or ovaries, and meningitis. 

  • Rubella (also called German measles): This is usually a mild infection that gets better within about 7–10 days, but it becomes a serious concern if a pregnant woman catches the infection during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is because the rubella virus can affect the development of the baby and cause severe health problems such as eye problems, deafness, heart abnormalities and brain damage. 

Measles, mumps and rubella are all easily spread from an infected person by coughing, sneezing or talking. They can be spread by face-to-face contact within a metre, or by touching an object infected from droplets, such as a used tissue or keyboard. 

Adults born before 1969 in New Zealand or overseas, in this age group are not recommended to receive MMR vaccination. Generally, they are considered to be immune to measles. No measles vaccine was available in New Zealand until 1969 and measles is so infectious that people born before this were highly likely to be exposed. 

MMR vaccination is fully funded for those who are 16 to 30 years old.