Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Reflections On Science

NZ doesn’t need to ban unvaccinated kids from childcare – Nikki Turner

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 14th, 2017.

Should New Zealand follow the Australian ‘no jab, no pay’ model to boost immunisation rates? Nikki Turner from the Immunisation Advisory Centre says no, our current approach is working. An excerpt (read in full): By being systematic, setting national targets and communicating effectively to healthcare providers and parents, we have seen a dramatic improvement in […]

HPV vaccine now funded for boys – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 31st, 2017.

As students head back to school this week, boys, as well as girls, will have funded access to the HPV vaccine Gardasil. The rollout follows Pharmac’s decision last year to extend the vaccine programme. Though Gardasil is commonly known to protect against cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) also causes other cancers in both men and women. […]

Wider access and protection with HPV vaccine funding – Expert reaction

Peter Griffin posted in on July 28th, 2016.

Pharmac will extend funding for HPV vaccine Gardasil to also cover boys and will change the vaccine type to cover more varieties of HPV. Following public consultation, Pharmac announced several changes to the vaccination schedule, including funding the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for boys. HPV can cause several types of cancer, including cervical and throat […]

Morning jabs better for flu vaccination – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on April 27th, 2016.

Influenza vaccinations are more effective in the morning, reports a new study. The UK research, published in the journal Vaccine, compared the immune response of 276 older adults vaccinated in the morning  or afternoon, and found that morning-vaccinated people had more influenza-fighting antibodies when tested one month later Read more about the study on Scimex.org The Science […]

Whooping cough spreads in South

John Kerr posted in on August 14th, 2015.

Increased rates of whooping cough in the South Island have authorities reminding parents of the importance of vaccinations. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a contagious bacterial disease characterised by nasty and persistent bouts of coughing. The Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Marion Poore, told the Otago Daily Times that there had been 174 […]

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Science, celebrity and social media collide in vaccination debate

John Kerr posted in on July 2nd, 2015.

Stuff.co.nz’s Katie Kenny reports on an online furore over vaccination kicked off by actor Jim Carrey, but further fuelled by Kiwi star Jemaine Clement. An excerpt (read in full here) Comedian Jemaine Clement criticised for tweeting ‘nonsense’ in anti-vaccination rant One of New Zealand’s top comedians has been criticised by a health expert for his anti-vaccination […]

Influenza A H1N1 in New Zealand – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on March 26th, 2014.

A number of cases of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (commonly dubbed swine flu) have been recently reported in New Zealand. Most recently an outbreak of eight cases in Hawke’s Bay has received widespread coverage. While it is not unusual for the H1N1 strain to be detected in flu cases, experts have noted that it […]

Influenza warnings follow US flu season

John Kerr posted in on March 27th, 2013.

Experts are warning of potentially bad influenza season this year and encouraging vaccination. Influenza researchers Prof Lance Jennnings from Canterbury DHB and  Dr Sue Huang of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) have highlighted the severe flu season in the States and cautioned that New Zealand could be next. In media reports both […]

Research hints at oral TB vaccine

John Kerr posted in on September 27th, 2012.

New Kiwi research has demonstrated the potential of an oral vaccine for tuberculosis. In a study published this week in the open access journal PLoS ONE, researchers from the tested an oral formulation of the current tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in mice and found that it worked better than the standard injected vaccine in immunising against […]

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Coroner inquest and HPV vaccine – expert reponds

John Kerr posted in on August 9th, 2012.

Claims relating to vaccine safety are back in the media spotlight as an inquest into the unexplained death of teenager Jasmine Renata in 2009 continues.  The family has told the coroner they believe the death is linked to the Gardasil vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV) that Ms Renata received six months earlier, and today […]

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