Hopes Health Ministry has learnt from flu vaccination campaign

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 1:08PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Hopes Health Ministry has learnt from flu vaccination campaign

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 1:08PM

There have been plenty of lessons taken from this year's influenza vaccination campaign and the 2019 measles outbreak.

The Ministry of Health has released two reports into the flu immunisation campaign and last year's Auckland's measles outbreak.

The idea is to find out how to better respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to prevent and respond to future outbreaks.

Auckland University vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris says we've seen an erosion in the public health system, and this year has served as a reminder how important public health is.

"Certainly we learned last year with measles, almost like a precursor. It shows that when you have a strong public health system, you can respond to crises when they're emerging." 

2020 was a record year for flu vaccines, with more than 1.77 million vaccines distributed to general practices, pharmacists and other providers.

Petousis-Harris says the reports show that the Health Ministry wasn't prepared to vaccinate as many New Zealanders as possible.

"I think we'd already learnt from experience that we were not any longer very nimble to suddenly change the ways we do things, or respond to an emergency."