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It’s not too late to receive first dose of MeNZB

MEDIA RELEASE

26 JULY 2005


It’s not too late to receive the first dose of the meningococcal B vaccine

MESSAGE TO 16-20 YEAR OLDS - IT MIGHT HURT A BIT, BUT IT’S WORTH IT


All under 20 year olds in Otago can still receive their first dose of the Meningococcal B vaccine (MeNZB) and can continue to do so until the very end of the programme.

The Otago meningococcal B campaign began delivering the second dose of the vaccine through general practices on 11 July to children under 5 and young people aged from 16-20.

The school-based campaign began delivering the second dose yesterday (25 July).

Otago meningococcal B campaign sponsor Dr Roy Morris said today it was vital that parents of under 5 year olds who had not yet been vaccinated understood it was not too late to start. They shouldn’t feel embarrassed if they haven’t had the vaccination, he said.

“It is just as important that young people aged 16-20, who are not at school, and have not yet been vaccinated made an appointment at their local medical practice for the vaccination.

“We are aware that there is some reluctance among the 16-20 year old age group due to a fear that the vaccination will hurt, or that they will suffer adverse side effects.

“The vaccination is similar to any other vaccination that they may have received in the past,” said Dr Morris. “Most children and young people will have reactions such as short term soreness, swelling or redness where the injection was given.

“It’s certainly no worse than falling off your skateboard and banging your knee.”

“In addition other reactions may occur such as: slight temperature or headache; feeling drowsy or irritable; nausea, feeling unwell, muscle and joint pain.

These reactions may last from a few hours to a few days.

Dr Morris said it was also very important that people understood they must have three doses of the vaccination to be fully immunised. Each dose should be administered approximately six weeks apart.

“If your child is at school, they will they will have until October 2005 to receive their first vaccination, and until early 2006 if they are receiving the vaccination through the GP,” said Dr Morris.

ENDS

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