Immunisations are provided at all primary care practices and are one of the most important services they provide. Immunisation has led to the decline of many lethal diseases including, most recently, meningococcal B meningitis.
The National Immunisation Schedule offers a series of vaccines free to babies, children, adolescents and adults. Visit the Ministry of Health website http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/immunisation/new-zealand-immunisation-schedule to find out what vaccines are on the Schedule and when they are given. Additional vaccines are provided free for certain eligible groups considered to be at high risk because of other medical conditions; find out more here http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/immunisation/new-zealand-immunisation-schedule. These and other vaccines such as travel vaccines can be purchased by other people if they want them.
Immunisations are given by a practice nurse or doctor, having ensured beforehand that the person is not ill or suffering from allergies. Risks associated with immunisation are very rare.
Children have their own document to keep a record of these injections. Under the age of 5 this is usually their Well Child/Tamariki Ora My Health Book. The immunisation record may need to be shown, for example, when starting school or early childcare. The staff will also record the immunisation details on New Zealand’s National Immunisation Register. This computerised information system holds details of all immunisations given to children here and will alert families when immunisations are due.