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Nesian Mystik Front Meningococcal Vaccine Campaign

Media Statement

Wednesday 20 April 2005

Nesian Mystik Front Local Meningococcal B Vaccine Campaign

Hip hop band Nesian Mystik’s decision to help front the national Meningococcal B vaccine was an easy one as five years ago one of the group members nearly died from the deadly disease.

Nesian Mystik will be at Gisborne Skate Park on Thursday from 9.45am promoting the Meningococcal B Vaccine Strategy.

The six-strong band front national advertising for the Meningococcal B Vaccine Strategy and their music is used in all national Meningococcal B vaccine radio, television and cinema advertising.

Nesiann Mystik guitarist and producer David Atai said his fellow band member almost died.

“We almost lost one of our boys and we don’t want anyone else losing some one. It happened when we were at school five or six years ago.”

He said the group member who suffered Meningococcal disease had asked not to be named.

As a result of the experience, Atai and the rest of the group were keen to lend a hand with promotion of the free vaccine and were looking forward to spending some time in Gisborne.

Visitors to the Gisborne Skate Park on Grey Street will be able to talk and skate with Nesian Mystik, whose debut album Polysaturated boasted four top-ten hits in 2002 and 2003.

Spot prizes including CDs, t-shirts and drink bottles will be given away, and there will be an opportunity for young people to learn more about the free Meningococcal B vaccine.

Atai’s two children aged two and one have already received their series of three vaccinations for full immunisation.

“I chose to get my kids done because of what almost happened to one of my mates. That was hard enough and it hit us hard. Just imagine if your kids got hit with it.”

Around 15,000 youth aged under-19 are eligible for the free vaccine which has been available in the district since February 14. Of those 2000 are school-leavers either studying or working.

Meningococcal B Vaccine Strategy Project Manager Jan Ewart says the older age group is the hardest to reach.

“We have visited Tairawhiti Polytechnic, Te Wananga O Aotearoa and a number of other places where school leavers are. Many of course are working and to make contact with them we have used the expertise of Employ Health nurses who are already visiting many workplaces.”

So far 108 school-leavers have been vaccinated. Ms Ewart hopes after spending time with Nesian Mystik, many more youth will take up the offer.

She encouraged anyone falling into the school-leavers category to contact their GP practice to make an appointment to receive their vaccination.

“It doesn’t cost anything. And please encourage everyone else your age to do the same.”

Catch Nesian Mystik on Thursday 21 April, Gisborne Skate Park, 9.45am to 11am.


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