Immunisation

Immunisation is the most effective way to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough, tetanus and measles. In Aotearoa New Zealand we have a National Immunisation Schedule which sets out the reccommended free vaccines offered to babies, tamariki, teenagers and adults at certain times in their life. Click here to view the schedule.

Visit the NZ Immunisation website

Immunise is a really helpful, easy to understand website witheverything you need to know about immunisation in Aotearoa New Zealand, including when to immunise, how to book an appointment and more. Check it out here: www.immunise.health.nz

 

Where to get immunisations for you and your family/whānau in Taranaki

Visit www.healthpoint.co.nz to find a list of all GPs, pharmacies, and Māori healthcare providers that offer vaccinations in your community. Pop-up community vaccination clinics are also available throughout Taranaki. Check out the schedule of upcoming clinics below.

POP-UP COMMUNITY VACCINATION CLINICS
DAY DATE CLINIC TIMES LOCATION
Thursday 29 February 4pm – 7pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Saturday 2 March 9am – 4.30pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Thursday 7 March 4pm – 7pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Saturday 9 March 9am – 4.30pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Thursday 14 March 4pm – 7pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Saturday 16 March 9am – 4.30pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Thursday 21 March 4pm – 7pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Thursday 21 March 11am - 3.30pm Heartlands Hub, 21 Napier Street, Opunake
Saturday 23 March 9am – 4.30pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Thursday 28 March 4pm – 7pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Saturday 30 March 9am – 4.30pm Family Health & Midwife Clinic (the green house), 351 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
Thursday 18 April 11am - 3.30pm Heartlands Hub, 21 Napier Street, Opunake
Thursday 16 May 11am - 3.30pm Heartlands Hub, 21 Napier Street, Opunake
Thursday 20 June 11am - 3.30pm Heartlands Hub, 21 Napier Street, Opunake
Thursday 18 July 11am - 3.30pm Heartlands Hub, 21 Napier Street, Opunake

 

Resources


Immunisate against meningococcal disease

Childhood Immunisation booklet

Immunise your child on time


Protection starts in pregnancy poster

Immunise during pregnancy

Immunise against HPV brochure

National Immunisation Schedule

For all these resources and more go to www.healthed.govt.nz

Immunisation frequently asked questions


Why is it important to immunise my child?

Immunisation helps our children avoid many diseases that can seriously harm them. When a child is immunised the vaccines teach their immune system to respond to parts of germs that aren’t dangerous, or to weakened or inactive viruses that can’t cause disease. After immunisation, the immune system can generate specialised cells to fight the infection if they are exposed to the disease, preventing them from getting sick.

Some parents focus more on the (rare) side effects of immunisation than on the diseases that immunisation protects against. The risk of serious side effects from immunisation is very low compared to the risk of complications or death should a child contract one of the vaccine-preventable diseases.

Immunisation is an important way to actively protect your child from these dangerous diseases.

How well does immunisation work?

Immunisation works very well to prevent a wide range of serious diseases. Sometimes, immunisation isn’t completely successful and it doesn’t protect children completely. In cases like this, children can get the disease, but don’t get as sick as they would if they weren’t immunised. While vaccines can’t provide 100% protection to all people, the more people that are immunised, the less the diseases will spread through the population. The people who are protected against the disease can protect the people who aren’t by reducing their risk of exposure to the germs.

Why does New Zealand start immunisation at six weeks of age?

New Zealand brought forward the first dose of the Childhood Immunisation Schedule from three months of age to six weeks of age in 1984. This followed an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) which affected those under three months most severely so infants could start developing pertussis protection sooner.

Many countries start their immunisation schedule at four weeks of age but New Zealand starts at six weeks of age to coincide with the six week post-natal check for both mothers and babies.

Why immunise on time?

Young infants are particularly at risk of serious complications from some diseases such as whooping cough, pneumococcal disease and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib disease). Starting immunisation at six weeks begins to provide protection during the most vulnerable periods of childhood. Delaying or missing immunisations increases the risk of getting a disease and reduces the protection when it’s needed most.

How do vaccines work?

When germs invade the body, the immune system deals with them by producing protective cells and small molecules called ‘antibodies’. When we come across a germ for the first time, our immune is often slow to respond and we get sick. After the infection, however, the immune system remembers how to make the antibody so if we come into contact with the same germ again the immune system responds quickly and usually deals with it before we get sick.

Vaccines work in the same way, but use a weakened, inactive form or fragment of the germ. In response to a vaccine, our natural immune system kicks in and produces the protective cells and antibodies to protect against the germ. Vaccines will not cause or give you the disease, but simply alert the immune system to recognise the invaders should they present again at a later stage.

Forms

Independent Vaccinator Application form
Reauthorisation of Independent Vaccinator Application form

Links

www.immunise.health.nz/ - everything you need to know about immunisation in New Zealand
www.hpa.org.nz - Health Promotion Agency - more resources 
www.immune.org.nz - Immunisation Advisory Centre's (IMAC) website 
www.health.govt.nz - Ministry of Health Website - Immunisation 
www.health.govt.nz - Ministry of Health Website - National Immunisation Schedule 
www.kidshealth.org.nz - Whooping Cough Video - KidsHealth Website 

 

 

Last updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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