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Parents To Get Children Vaccinated

Monday 30 May, 2005

Paediatrician Urges Parents To Get Children Vaccinated

An Invercargill paediatrician, who has seen the devastating effects of meningococcal disease too many times, is urging parents to have their children vaccinated.

The Southland Meningococcal B Immunisation Programme started today with the launch of the school-based campaign at James Hargest High School.

Southland Hospital Paediatrician Dr Paul Tomlinson hopes parents will take advantage of the programme to protect their children against a disease which can not only leave children with serious ongoing medial issues, but has taken the lives of several local children in recent years.

“I am fully supportive of this campaign, I did not hesitate to have my own children vaccinated and hope other parents will also take this opportunity to protect their children.

“This vaccination programme is the best way to protect our young people from the strain of meningococcal disease which is causing New Zealand’s epidemic.”

Dr Tomlinson said he is satisfied with the rigorous testing and safety monitoring the vaccine has undergone.

“This vaccine has no live bacteria in it and should pose no danger to our children.

“On the other hand, meningococcal disease is a very real risk with our current rates more than three times that considered an epidemic by the World Health Organisation.”

Southland school children are the first in the region to receive the MeNZB™ vaccine through the school based campaign, targeting up to 18,500 children in the region.

Babies, preschoolers and young people under 20 who do not attend school will be able to get their vaccine at their general practice from 7 June.

ENDS

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