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Otago meningococcal B campaign ends on high note

Monday 3 July 2006

Media Release

Otago meningococcal B campaign ends on a high note

More than 80% of all Otago’s babies, children and young people aged from six weeks to 19 years have received three meningococcal B vaccinations since the campaign began on 30 May 2005.

Friday 30 June was the official cut off date for the country’s mass immunisation campaign.

However, babies and children under five will continued to be offered the vaccine, said Dr Roy Morris, Otago meningococcal B campaign sponsor.

And the vaccine will still be available for 'mop up' vaccinations for the 5-19 age group until the end of December. ‘Mop up’ vaccinations are when someone has already started their course of three vaccinations but may not have finished.

Children need to complete all their doses to get the best protection from this disease. The vaccine will remain available to the under-five age group until further notice, and newborns will be routinely offered MeNZB alongside their scheduled childhood immunisations.

Young babies who have their first dose before they are six months old need four doses to build sufficient protection against the disease. Older children need only three doses.

The Otago campaign team has been offering an outreach service which can be accessed by GP services, Plunket, Maori and other health providers, or by any service which deals with children aged to five years who are overdue for immunisation or who haven't been immunised. Family and whänau may also access this service by phoning 0800 23 32 44.

Outreach work is the tail end of the MeNZB campaign where nurses and health providers go right into the community.


Last Chance winners

Winners of the Last Chance campaign have been announced today. The Last Chance campaign offered young people in the 16-19 year old target group in Otago the chance to win an X-Box, iPod or mobile phone if they text or email an entry to the campaign. The Otago meningococcal B campaign has one more month to run.

Otago meningococcal B campaign Sponsor Dr Roy Morris said 16-19 year olds in Otago were the target for the final initiative by the Otago Meningococcal B campaign. “The rate of vaccinations amongst this group in Otago was still not high enough,” he said.

“While we've been tracking quite well against the national average, we were keen to get our numbers up in the last month (June) which is the focus of the Last Chance campaign targeting this important age group,” said Dr Morris.

Dr Morris said a blitz of Dunedin and Otago towns was carried out during June promoting the Last Chance campaign.

The campaign involved grabbing the attention of 16-19 year olds in Otago about the need to start (or complete) their meningococcal immunisations before 30 June through:

- a poster campaign around the “Last Chance” message – getting people talking about it, asking what it is.

- an Otago youth specific information website

- the chance to win an X-Box, iPod or mobile phone

The winners are: Rikki Tubman, Kimberly Cheyne, and Rebecca Field


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