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HBDHB taking to streets to spread MeNZB message

MEDIA RELEASE

4 February 2005

HBDHB taking to streets to spread MeNZB message

Teams of health promoters will be setting up information stalls at two big events this weekend, to help spread the word about the Meningococcal B (MeNZB) immunisation campaign which kicks off next month in Hawke’s Bay.

Families and whanau of pre-schoolers have only six weeks to wait before the free Meningococcal B vaccine is available in Hawke’s Bay.

GPs will be offering the free vaccine to pre-school children, and also offering vaccinations for school-leavers aged under 20 years. The vaccine will be available for these age groups from 21 March. To be effective each young person needs to have three MeNZB immunisations

“We’ll be at the Waitangi Day celebrations on the Clive Rivermouth on Sunday and at the Fish Hook Festival happening in Ahuriri on Sunday night.

“Meningococcal B project manager, Chris Styles, said this weekend’s events provide perfect opportunities to raise awareness of the meningococcal B vaccine, as hundreds of children and their families are expected to attend both events.

“Maori and Pacific children account for over 65% of all cases of meningococcal disease in the 0-4year old age group. Our goal is to make sure at least 90% of our young ones are immunised and protected from this dreadful disease,” Chris Styles said.

The second phase of the immunisation programme starts on 4 April 2005, and will see public health nurses carrying out immunisations at every primary, intermediate and high school in Hawke’s Bay. Parents/guardians will be asked to complete a consent form giving permission for their child to receive the three free immunisations. It’s important the forms are returned promptly to each child’s school as soon as possible.

In total, there are around 45,000 young Hawke’s Bay people aged from 6 months – 19 years who will be eligible for the immunisations.

For more information on Meningococcal B immunisation people can phone 0800 20 30 90 or check out the Ministry of Health website www.immunise.moh.govt.nz

END

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