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Meningococcal B campaign targets 16-20 year olds

13 July 2005

Bulletproof – NOT! Otago Meningococcal B campaign targets 16-20 year olds

Dunedin Fashion And Music Scenes Swing Behind Campaign

The Dunedin fashion and music scenes have swung behind the meningococcal B campaign this week as young people become the focus for the Otago campaign.

Bulletproof Not! – a campaign targeting 16-20 year olds who are not in school, is to be launched today as part pf the wider the Otago meningococcal B campaign.

A t-shirt promoting the campaign designed by young emerging Dunedin fashion label Small Poppies is being released in Dunedin today. The t-shirt aims to provide “street credibility” to the meningococcal B campaign for those aged 16 – 20 years.

Popular Dunedin SKA band The Bones will play at the youth launch of the meningococcal B campaign today at Otago University.

And a new website promoting Dunedin music, dunedinmusic.com, will prominently feature the meningococcal B campaign and encourage young people to get immunised.

The meningococcal B campaign will also have a presence at two major University reorientation events later this week; the Shapeshifter Dance Party on Friday night; and the Shihad concert on Saturday night.

The Otago youth campaign aims to immunise around 9000 young people aged 16- 20.

Otago meningococcal B campaign acting sponsor and Medical Officer of Health Dr Marion Poore said today that young people aged 16-19 in Otago who have left school were always going to be the hardest target group to reach with the meningococcal B campaign.

“They are less likely to read newspapers and take notice of mainstream media messages about the campaign. Many do not go to the doctor regularly and some are not even aware who their doctor is.,” she said. “And yet, these young people are particularly at risk, which is why the campaign targets them specifically.

“Meningococcal B disease is very serious. Between 1991 and 2004, 699 young people aged 15 to 19 years throughout New Zealand developed the disease and 36 (5.2%) died from it. The disease leaves up to 20% of survivors with permanent disabilities that make sports injuries look like nothing more than a bad hair cut,” said Dr Poore.

Around half of the young people targeted for the Otago meningococcal B campaign are university students (4500). The University begins its second semester this week. Activities are also planned at Otago Polytechnic; and there will be an intensive media and marketing campaign around the region during July to attract the attention of young people.

“Otago University’s Student Health has a well organised campaign that started this Monday, the beginning of the second semester,” she said.

Dr Poore said the youth campaign would aim to get a message across to young people using a variety of different mediums such as through clubs, cafes and the music scene and by encouraging young people to talk about the vaccine and recommend it to their peers.

We are proud to say that in Dunedin and Otago we do things a bit differently. The meningococcal B campaign is supported by our local fashion and music scenes.

ENDS

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