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Otago Meningococcal B campaign launch Mon 30 May

26 MAY 2005

MEDIA ALERT

Otago Meningococcal B campaign to be launched on Monday 30 May

ATTENTION NEWS EDITORS/HEALTH REPORTERS

The Otago meningococcal B vaccination campaign will be launched on Monday 30 May at Dunedin Hospital.

The launch is the culmination of many months preparation by hundreds of committed health workers in Otago. This is the biggest immunisation campaign ever undertaken in Otago and New Zealand as a whole.

In Otago, it is aimed to immunise almost 50,000 young people aged between 6 weeks and up to 20 years. This includes:

• more than 10,000 babies and children under 5 years

• around 39,000 children and young people aged 5-19 years

Three doses of the vaccine are required, administered six weeks apart, for it to be effective. The vaccine is free and extensive trials have proved it to be safe.

Preschoolers, children not attending school and young people who have left school and who are less than 20 years of age will be immunised by a doctor or nurse from their GP or health service (such as Student Health).

School children will be immunised at school by qualified vaccinators in the school-based campaign.

All vaccinations of those children under the age of 5 ; school children; school leavers and young people aged up to 20 begins on 30 May 2005.

Launch details

· The launch will take place in the foyer of Dunedin Hospital at midday on Monday 30 May.

· Speakers include; ODHB chair Richard Thomson; Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin; Meningococcal B Otago campaign sponsor Dr Roy Morris; Medical Officer of Health John Holmes; and Doreen Latta who lost a son to meningococcal B.

· There will be performances by the Otago Pacific Island Girls Choir; and a Maori theatre group Te Roopu Tautoko Ki Te Tonga

· There will be a Mihi by a local Kaumatua

ENDS

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