Mum of two Aleisha Tancred knows the importance of getting immunised during pregnancy.

That's why she's accessing Taranaki DHB's free vaccination drop-in clinic at Base Hospital's maternity unit during her third pregnancy.

"It's really important to me that I protect not just myself and my family, but my unborn baby," says Aleisha. Aleisha is in her final trimester.

Immunisation Week runs from April 29 to May 5. This year's theme is Protected Together, #Immunise.


This highlights the need for high immunisation rates to help protect tamariki, whānau, iwi and community from serious diseases.

Aleisha is one of many women who has used the free clinic at Base Hospital, which is open every Wednesday 2pm-3pm offering free vaccinations against whooping cough and influenza.

"I know the vaccination is safe for me during pregnancy. It's free and I'm helping to protect my baby from serious disease."

The 23-year-old mum from New Plymouth has also been immunised with her previous pregnancies, which helped start childhood immunisation for her now four year old and one year old.

Taranaki DHB's antenatal clinic coordinator Karen Janes says the clinic is getting between one and eight pregnant woman coming into the clinic weekly.

"It is great. Immunisation for whooping cough can be given at 28 weeks' gestation and immunisation against influenza can be given at any time throughout pregnancy.

"Immunisation works by helping your child develop antibodies to fight disease. Effective immunisation starts in pregnancy and follows the national immunisation schedule of recommended vaccinations at six weeks, then three, five and 15 months, four years and pre-teen at 11 and 12. These are the times your child will get the best possible protection."

Following childhood immunisation, protection is also encouraged into adulthood with influenza immunisation available at GPs and some pharmacies, and free immunisations for people aged 65 and over including influenza, shingles, tetanus and diphtheria.

■ To find out more about Immunisation Week go to