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2nd round of school-based campaign begins today

25 July 2005

2nd round of school-based campaign begins today

The second round of Otago’s school-based meningococcal B vaccine programme begins today.

The Otago school-based campaign has achieved one of the highest rates of vaccination for round 1 in New Zealand. As of Friday 22 July, 25,213 Otago students have received dose one of the MeNZB vaccine, which represents about 90% of those who returned consent forms, and 96% of those who have consented.

A total of 26,115 school children had consented to vaccination in Otago, which represented 93% of the consent forms returned.

According to Ministry of Health statistics, at the end of the first five weeks, Otago had the highest rate in the country for vaccination uptake in schools.

The school programme had been achieved through excellent cooperation with schools across Otago working with Public Health South. Seven teams of nurse vaccinators and support staff based across Dunedin, Oamaru, Dunstan and Balclutha have visited schools each day.

Behind these teams have been a team of Public Health South staff who have provided management, logistical and clerical support, Otago Meningococcal B School Based Campaign Co-Leader Peter Bassett said today.

“Public Health South wishes to thank all staff at Otago schools who have assisted us to deliver round 1 of the meningococcal B vaccination campaign.

“We look forward to the continued support from the schools over the next two rounds, as we appreciate this is a key factor in the success of the campaign.

Mr Bassett said that parents should be as vigilant with their children over the second dose as they were with the first dose.

“On the day that your child is to be vaccinated, please ensure they have a good breakfast and are generally in good health,” he said.

The Otago campaign

The campaign to immunise almost 50,000 babies, children and young people aged up to 20 years in Otago against Meningococcal B disease began on 30 May and is now beginning its ninth week.

So far, 38,630 doses of the vaccine have been delivered in Otago. It is aimed to reach a 90% target of the total number of babies, school children and young people under 20. This represents around 45,000 doses.

Around 10,000 babies and young children aged from 6 weeks to five years and 9000 school-leavers aged from 16-20 will be immunised through general practices; and up to 30,000 school-children will be immunised through Otago’s school-based vaccination programme.

Each person requires three injections delivered six weeks apart to be fully immunised, which will require up to 150,000 doses of the MeNZB vaccine by 31 October.

Otago meningococcal B campaign sponsor Dr Roy Morris said it was important that parents of children who have not received their first dose of the vaccine be reassured that it’s not too late.

“If your child is still to receive the first dose of the vaccine give your General Practitioner and Practice Nurse a ring or call into your GP practice and make an appointment. If your child is at school, contact Public Health South.

ENDS

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