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New and returning students the focus of campaign



New and returning students the focus of Otago meningococcal B campaign

Otago Polytechnic and Otago University students beginning or returning to their studies are the main focus of the Otago meningococcal B Campaign in February.

All students under 20 are eligible for the vaccine. It takes three doses, delivered approximately six weeks apart to be fully vaccinated.

The Otago campaign is focused on students who have not yet started their course of three doses, or who have received doses one or two, but not completed the full course.

This week, Otago Polytechnic begins offering a series of clinics for students wishing to be vaccinated. The clinics are to be delivered by the Polytechnic Student Health in conjunction with the MVS Outreach Immunisation Service.

The Polytechnic Community Clinics will be held: February 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 27th, 28th and 2nd March.

Clinics will be held in the Otago Polytechnic Student Centre, Harbour Terrace in the Bayrooms on 1st Floor between 11:30 and 1:30pm.

The campaign will then focus on the University of Otago’s Orientation Week in the week of 20-24 February. Vaccinations will be delivered from a tent in the Student Union area each day between 11am and 2pm.

Otago Meningococcal B campaign sponsor Dr Roy Morris said new and returning students were an important target group as many may not yet have started their meningococcal B doses.

“Young people in the 18/19 year old age group do not always have a regular doctor, are not always able to be reached during a mass advertising campaign and do not always see the GP as the place to receive the meningococcal B vaccination,” he said.

“We hope orientation is a good time to reach these young people as they will be enrolling at university and Polytech and will be receiving information on a range of issues.”

Dr Morris said the campaign would continue into 2006.

“Everyone aged 5-19 years must have their first dose of the MeNZB vaccine by 30 June 2006 and have completed their three doses by 31 December 2006.”

He said the vaccine would continue to be available for under 5s until clinical evidence shows the epidemic has been contained.

Newborn babies will continue to be offered the Meningococcal B vaccinations along with the regular scheduled immunisations.


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