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12 October 2001 News Update


The Ministry of Health is funding a survey designed to find an explanation for the less than optimal immunisation rates against influenza.

The survey will target randomly selected doctors, practice nurses and people aged 65 years and over. It aims to identify the attitudes and beliefs that influence immunistion rates against influenza and pneumococcal disease in people aged 65 years and over.

The Ministry of Health says its target of 75% coverage with influenza immunisation in those aged over 65 years, is not being met.

Coverage in older populations frequently reaches a plateau at around 60-70%.

Influenza vaccinations are free for those aged over 65 years as well as children with certain chronic medical conditions. However survey spokesman and virologist Dr Lance Jennings said some people didn't see themselves as being at risk from influenza, and therefore didn't take advantage of the free vaccinations.

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