Vaccination and Travel Information for New Zealand


 Information current as at:  February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.

Climate: New Zealand's climate is complex and varies from warm subtropical in the far north to cool temperate climates in the far south, with severe alpine conditions in the mountainous areas. Mountain chains extending the length of New Zealand provide a barrier for the prevailing westerly winds, dividing the country into dramatically different climate regions. The West Coast of the South Island is the wettest area of New Zealand, whereas the area to the east of the mountains, just over 100 km away, is the driest.

Mean annual temperatures range from 10°C in the south to 16°C in the north of New Zealand. The coldest month is usually July and the warmest month is usually January or February. In New Zealand generally there are relatively small variations between summer and winter temperatures, although inland and to the east of the ranges the variation is greater (up to 14°C). Sunshine hours are relatively high in areas that are sheltered from the west and most of New Zealand would have at least 2000 hours annually. Most snow in New Zealand falls in the mountain areas. Frosts can occur anywhere in New Zealand and usually form on cold nights with clear skies and little wind.
Capital City: Wellington
Altitude: 5 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton
Population: 4 million (June 2003
Land Area (sq km): 268,680 sq km, note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands
Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Languages: English (official), Maori (official)
Religions: Anglican 24%, Presbyterian 18%, Roman Catholic 15%, Methodist 5%, Baptist 2%, other Protestant 3%, unspecified or none 33% (1986)
Economy: Wheat, barley, potatoes, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef, dairy products; fish, meat

The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

Cholera Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
Diphtheria Childhood immunisation series and updates 10 yearly are recommended.
Hepatitis A Immunisation is recommended but not compulsory
Hepatitis B Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in a remote or rural area communities for 1 month or more.
Influenza Recommended for travel to New Zealand from March to September
Japanese encephalitis Immunisation is neither required nor recommended
Poliomyelitis Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.
Pneumococcus Recommended for travellers over the age of 65 years, or if there are immuno-compromising medical conditions.
Rabies There is no rabies in New Zealand. Immunisation is not recommended
Tuberculosis Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not recommended for adults. Children should be immunized at any age.A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt.
Tetanus As of 2002, the National Recommendations are: a primary childhood immunisation series with update boosters at age 11, 45 and 65 years
Typhoid Fever Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
Yellow Fever No vaccination requirements for any international traveller.

Malaria is not present in any area of this country.

Modern medical facilities and well skilled medical practitioners are widely available. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is recommended.
Uninsured travellers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travellers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life-saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, we suggest that you determine whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.

                                                                                                                                                    DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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