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Allergy Today: From Mark’s Desk: May 2022

This week is Allergy Awareness Week and in this issue of Allergy Today, we celebrate the work of our volunteers who have developed our most comprehensive resource pack for school and pre-school classrooms and playgrounds - ever! Mark Dixon-805-763-321

We also recognise our long and valued working relationship with the Malaghan Institute. You can read our interview with Professor Franca Ronchese, leader of the Ronchese team, about research into allergy and asthma at the institute, HERE.

We are thrilled to finally have our new Allergy Educator, Lettie Iseli, on board after many COVID-19-related delays. Lettie will initially be focussed on mobilising our new education resource – Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines for Schools and Kura 2022 - in a pilot programme in Auckland, before enabling the programme nationally. She joins Roann, who started working with us in November last year to put the finishing touches on our new guidelines and develop the digital resources to support the launch of the guidelines, in a few weeks’ time. In this issue, Lettie shares her introduction to allergies as an adult just a few years ago, HERE.

FundaPen2 – 1,500 FREE Epipens® already prescribed! Our free FundaPens are flying out the door of Queenstown Pharmacy. Please encourage anyone you know who needs to carry an Epipen® to make an appointment with their prescriber (GP, Allergy Specialist or Nurse Practitioner) as soon as possible. Remember, our ability to extend the offer is limited to 3,355 FundaPens. Once they are gone, normal prescribing protocols and cost to the patient will apply. As prices for Epipens® around New Zealand range from $120 to $350 per pen, this is a terrific opportunity to access a life-saving medicine, protect your whānau, and demonstrate our unmet need to Government and Pharmac. Please get the word out among your own allergy networks!

How do I get a free Epipen®? If you or your child have been diagnosed as allergic and at risk of anaphylaxis, or have been recommended to carry an adrenaline auto-injector in the past, please book an appointment with your prescriber as soon as possible. You just need to make them aware of the current FundaPen2 campaign currently being run by Allergy New Zealand. We messaged their membership organisations before Christmas last year, and again in mid-January before the launch in February 2022, but if they are unaware, please get them to email primarycare@allergy.org.nz and allergy@allergy.org.nz and we can email the details of the FundaPen2 initiative to them. If they assess that you should carry an Epipen®, they will send your prescription to Queenstown Pharmacy, who will courier your Epipen® to your postal address within 10 days.

It's Allergy Awareness Week!
We have been so fortunate to have a wonderful group of enthusiastic and skilled allergy volunteers co-ordinating with two of our Board members  - Kristen & Hemant – to create fresh school resources and activities for all school and pre-school children and kura to learn more about how they can support and be inclusive of their mates who may be living with allergies. Please check them out, HERE.

It has been refreshing to see the impact of COVID-19-related restrictions starting to be removed from our daily lives. Live performances, sports fields and their sidelines, are once again busy and access to our unique recreational areas are opening up. You can bet that if Aucklanders are starting to moan about the traffic again, that some things are quickly returning to pre-COVID-19 levels!

We sense that mask-wearing will be a longer term hangover from COVID-19, which may be helpful for those of us living with airborne allergies. We have heard from several members that one positive side effect of having to wear masks is the reduction in the allergen load from pollen, dustmites, etc when wearing them.

Once again, a big thank you to our Allergy Awareness Week organising committee. To all our readers and members, please share the relevant links on your social media platforms. And, please share the news that FundaPen2 is currently running, but will end with the dispatch of our 3,355th free Epipen®! Book that appointment today.

Thank you all for your continued support of those living with allergies in our communities.

Mark Dixon, CEO Allergy NZ

Allergy Today, May 2022

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