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Meningococcal B immunisation campaign kicks off

21 March 2005

Meningococcal B immunisation campaign kicks off in Hawke’s Bay today

The Hawke’s Bay component of the Ministry of Health’s meningococcal B (MeNZB™) immunisation programme starts in today.

Around 15,000 preschoolers aged six months to four years and school leavers aged up to 19 years are eligible to receive the free vaccine available from GP practices throughout Hawke’s Bay from today.

From April 4, all school-age children will be offered the MeNZB vaccination at school, where teams of public health nurses will be visiting schools to vaccinate around 30,000 Hawke’s Bay children and young people who attend primary, intermediate and high schools.

To gain maximum protection from this disease, young people should have three vaccinations (by injection) spaced around six weeks apart.

The vaccine is free to everyone aged six months to 19 years.

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection, which causes serious illness, including meningitis – the infection of the membranes covering the brain – and septecaemia, a serious infection of the blood.

For every 100 people who get meningococcal disease, on average, four will die, 20 will suffer permanent and serious physical disabilities, and others will have ongoing behavioural or learning difficulties.

ENDS


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