26 May 2016

Vaccine or mask policy gets go-ahead

6:42 pm on 26 May 2016

Visitors to Waikato hospitals will be required to wear a face mask during the flu season, if they have not had the influenza vaccine.

Waikato Hospital.

Photo: PHOTO NZ

It's an extension of Waikato District Health Board's contentious policy which already applies to health workers and is supported by the Ministry of Health.

Chief executive Nigel Murray said the new policy was being introduced following staff feedback.

The masks would be available at the door of each of the Waikato Hospital campus wards and at the hospital entrances at Thames, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui and Tokoroa.

Dr Murray said he was confident the public would respect the rules to help protect patients during the flu season.

He said influenza was a potentially serious viral infection, which kills about 400 people in New Zealand a year.

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