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IMAC supports cessation of MeNZB™ immunisation

Media release 14th April, 2008

IMAC supports cessation of MeNZB™ immunisation


The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) supports today’s announcement by the Minister of Health that the MeNZB™ immunisation programme would cease.

Dr Nikki Turner, Clinical Director of IMAC, says that it is appropriate to now cease immunising children as the epidemic has been waning over the past couple of years. “After all the work that went in it is fantastic to reach this point. It is great to see disease rates have dropped sufficiently for the country to now be able to stop MeNZB™,” said Dr Turner. “It is also timely then to congratulate the health professionals, parents and communities who have made this programme a success”, she says.

The MeNZB™ campaign was one of the most comprehensive preventative health care programmes New Zealand has seen in recent times. It bought together academic research, primary and secondary health care services, Maori and Pacific communities and many local community and parent groups in a cohesive response to this devastating epidemic disease.

The MeNZB™ programme demonstrated that a committed workforce functioning in tandem with dedicated communities and parents can make a change for the next generation in all sectors of society. It is exciting to harness those gains and rise to new child health challenges such as reducing pneumococcal disease in our communities.

“This does not mean however, that we can forget about meningococcal disease”, warns Dr. Turner. “There will still be cases that continue to occur, likely for many years to come, of both meningococcal B and other forms of meningococcal disease. Parents and health professionals will have to remain vigilant for the worrying signs in unwell children seek medical help immediately if concerned”.


ENDS


IMAC Help line 0800 IMMUNE 0800 466 863.



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