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First Meningococcal Vaccine Given Next Week

MEDIA RELEASE
1 April 2005

First Meningococcal Vaccine Given In Schools Next Week

Monday 4 April marks the first day of the school-based vaccination programme taking place in 140 schools throughout Hawke’s Bay.

Throughout the programme, around 30,000 children will each receive three injections of meningococcal B vaccine, spaced approximately six weeks apart.

Seventy additional nurses and support staff are joining the DHB’s public health nurses who will be setting up clinics in school halls as far north as Te Mahia and as far south as Takapau.

All school-age children have been offered the vaccine at school. Pre-schoolers and out-of-school youth aged up to 19 years are being offered the free vaccine at GP practices.

School-based programme manager, Joan Plowman, says the cooperation received from schools had been fabulous. “We’re starting in the lower decile schools and the response rate, in terms of returning consent forms, and parents giving consent has been amazing.

“We’ve had a 100% return rate on forms from many schools which is fabulous. There’s been considerable input from public health nurses and support workers, who have talked with parents and families about meningococcal disease and the vaccine.

“We are aiming for a 100% return rate of consent forms from all schools,” she said.

Vaccinations will start in Wairoa from 10 May with Wairoa Primary and St Josephs first off the block. In Central Hawke’s Bay the first vaccinations start on 19 May 2005.

The MeNZB™ vaccine is safe and effective and will provide protection against the most common variety of meningococcal disease. In New Zealand around 75% of cases are the epidemic strain of meningococcal B disease, which is why this vaccine has been tailored to protect kiwi kids and young people.

For more information on meningococcal disease phone 0800 20 30 90 or visit www.immunise.govt.nz. To talk to a public health nurse in Hawke’s Bay call 0800 111 375.

Check when the vaccination teams are at your school, by visiting the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board website: www.healthinhawkesbay.co.nz click on the green pen, and check out the timetable.

END

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