Kia ora koutou,
With Term 2 underway, we’re looking ahead to what might come next – not just from COVID-19 but the upcoming winter season and illnesses that may come with it.
With New Zealanders mostly sheltered from exposure to flu in the last two years, health experts are concerned about our lower immunity to flu. This winter there is a very real possibility of getting the flu and COVID-19 within a short space of time. This can lead to very serious illness and high mortality rates.
If you are normally someone who doesn’t bother with the flu vaccine, we strongly encourage you to get your flu vaccination this year and get your whānau up to date with any other vaccinations (for example, measles, whooping cough).
Flu (influenza) vaccines – Ministry of Health
In 2022, flu vaccinations are free for:
· pregnant people
· people aged 65 years and over
· Māori and Pacific people aged 55 years and over
· people who have a long-term medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition (ages 6 months+)
· children under the age of four who have been in hospital with respiratory illness such as asthma.
If you’re not eligible for a free flu jab, and not covered by an employer-funded programme, it costs between $25 and $45 depending on the vaccine and provider.
There is further information about the symptoms and danger signs for flu on the Ministry of Health website.
Flu symptoms – Ministry of Health
As always, we want to keep our ākonga and kaiako as safe as possible from the harms from illness and to have as many ākonga learning on site as we can. All those good actions we already have in place to reduce the risk of harm from COVID-19 will also help to prevent seasonal illnesses including:
· staying away if unwell and seeking advice about getting tested
· regularly washing hands
· using well-ventilated spaces
· wearing masks when indoors
· cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces regularly
· covering coughs and sneezes
· having a highly vaccinated community (and not just for COVID-19).
You can do the same at home and hopefully together, we will keep our community healthy this winter.
As always, if you have any questions about our health and safety plans please get in touch.