Getting your children vaccinated not only protects them, but also protects their friends, whānau and people in the community who are the most vulnerable.
“The more people who are vaccinated the better chance we have at protecting our most vulnerable,” said Sherryn Edwardson, Immunisation Coordinator at Pegasus Health.
The COVID-19 lockdowns, it has decreased immunisations rates in Canterbury as well as lowering immunity within the community.
“Targets set by Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health is to have 95% of our children vaccinated. We currently sit at 92%, but this is lower in Māori and Pasifika children at 83-84%,” said Paula Bruce, Immunisation Coordinator at Pegasus Health.
Our Māori and Pasifika populations are a high priority due to inequities in access to healthcare which puts them more at risk of infectious diseases.
Immunising your children can often be frightening for them, depending on the child and their age, try to talk to them about what is happening at their appointment, so they are not surprised. Make it a positive thing and bring a distraction such as playing a video on a phone.
“I find offering reassurance and being there for them is the best way to make them feel more comfortable when getting their immunisations,” said Sherryn.
Vaccinations on our national schedule are important to protect against serious diseases. Hep B and HPV immunisations help protect your children against cancer.
While there are a group of nationally funded vaccines for children in Aotearoa, there are also unfunded vaccines that parents can get to protect their children against other diseases such as meningococcal.