Bus company supports flu campaign

Wednesday May 18, 2011

A Christchurch school bus company is doing its bit to keep Canterbury kids and their own staff well this winter.

Go Bus Transport Limited is helping spread the message about flu immunisations being free to under 18-year-olds in Canterbury until July 31 by displaying Canterbury District Health Board promotional posters in its buses and getting its staff vaccinated.

More than 11,000, or 10 percent of eligible under 18 Cantabrians have already taken the opportunity to receive a free flu immunisation.

Go Bus Transport Limited Operations Manager Christchurch Laurie Renwick says the company was very willing to help Canterbury health services in keeping more people healthy this winter.

“We were more than happy to help out because some of us have been an occasional occupant of a CDHB hospital bed and received wonderful care and wanted to do our bit to give back to the community.”

The bus company will display the posters in 30 of its school buses free of charge.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Ramon Pink says being protected against the flu is a key part of the Canterbury DHB’s earthquake recovery planning.

The flu season has begun in Canterbury with several cases already confirmed and earthquake damage has made changes to people’s living conditions that will make them more vulnerable to catching the virus. The concern this winter is that because of the earthquake many of us are living in homes without heating, in more crowded houses and in improvised office spaces and classrooms, Dr Pink says.

“The impact of flu on those more vulnerable, including children and the elderly, is increased in colder and cramped homes and buildings. And with schools sharing campuses and buses the flu virus can spread more easily between people,” Dr Pink says.

“We urge all people living in Canterbury to get vaccinated. A lot of people may feel a bit run down after the earthquake and the stress that has resulted. This makes them more prone to getting viruses like the flu. Even if you had a vaccination last year, you still need to have another one. It takes two weeks before the vaccination protects you from the flu, so best to get it done now. All you need to do is make an appointment at your local general practice.”

People over 65 years of age, those under 65 years with a chronic health condition, such as asthma, and pregnant women are already eligible for the free vaccination.​

Page last reviewed: 14 February 2014