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Meningococcal Death Rate Lowest Since 1991

Media Release
Meningococcal Death Rate Lowest Since 1991

Ron Law - Independent Risk & Policy Analyst

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"Figures released by the Ministry of Health confirm that deaths due to meningococcal disease are at their lowest rates since the epidemic began in 1991 and the chances of dying from the MeNZB(tm) strain of meningococcal disease is less than 1:million," says Independent Risk & Policy Analyst, Ron Law.

These latest figures make it impossible for Ministry of Health officials and the Minister to continue their denial of the facts while maintaining that "there is no evidence of the meningococcal disease epidemic abating."

When adjusted for total population data provided by Statistics New Zealand, in 2004 there were 1.98 deaths per million for meningococcal disease and 0.99 deaths per million due to the strain of bacteria targeted by the MeNZB(tm) vaccine. [See attachment]

In contrast, there were 21 deaths per million due to workplace accidents in 2003, 107 deaths per million due to road fatalities in 2004, and an estimated 369 deaths per million due to preventable medical injury in 2001.

Put into this context one has to ask why the Minister, officials, researchers and compliant District Health Boards continue to push so rabidly for the $250 MeNZB(tm) vaccination program at the same time that the Minister states that medical injury is not a problem within the health system and refuses to commit dedicated funding to prevent the carnage there.


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