News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Mass vaccination clinics to halt spread of hep A

Media Release

September 26, 2013

Mass vaccination clinics to halt spread of hep A

In October the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) will be offering free hepatitis A vaccinations to all children aged between one and four years old in Ashburton, Methven and Rakaia.

The vaccination campaign follows an outbreak of hepatitis A in Ashburton, which began in April this year with 28 confirmed cases to date, ranging in age from 14 months to 53 years.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says control of the virus has proven difficult as preschoolers with hepatitis A often show no symptoms and can unknowingly pass the virus throughout the community.

“Hepatitis A is highly contagious and spreads rapidly. It is spread when people fail to wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, and because of this pre-schoolers are often responsible for spreading it,” Dr Humphrey says.
“We had hoped that holding vaccination clinics in preschools where there was a link with hepatitis A would be sufficient to control the spread. We’ve held three such clinics but unfortunately the virus has continued to spread slowly in and around Ashburton. Without a mass vaccination of one to four year olds it’s possible the current epidemic could last for several years.”

The following free vaccination clinics are planned:

Tuesday
8 October
9.15am -6.00pm
Ashburton Trust Event Centre
211 A Wills St
Ashburton
Wednesday
9 October
9.15 am -6.00pm
Ashburton Trust Event Centre
211 A Wills St
Ashburton
Tuesday
15 October
9.15am- 6.00pm
St Davids Union Church
48 Allens Rd
Ashburton
Wednesday
16 October
9.15am - 6.00pm
St Davids Union Church
48 Allens Rd
Ashburton
Wednesday
23 October
9.30am -12.30pm
Mt Hutt Memorial Hall
Methven
Wednesday
23 October
2.15pm -4.15pm
Rakaia Memorial Hall
Rakaia

Dr Humphrey says that the immunisation programme alone will not prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

“The most important thing that can be done to prevent the virus spreading is thorough hand washing. Adults need to wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food, and children need to be shown proper hand washing technique.

“For the last few months I’ve been strongly recommending that food handlers are vaccinated against the virus, and I strongly urge food businesses that haven’t offered vaccination to their staff to do so. The cost of doing so is considerably cheaper than the costs a business would face if they were identified as spreading the virus.”

Dr Humphrey says the CDHB will be writing to all preschools to inform them about free vaccination clinics. To help minimize waiting times the letters will also recommend the best clinic for parents to attend.

It is recommended that parents of one to four year olds collect a consent form for each child from their preschool or General Practice team and complete this prior to attending the clinic. Children will need to remain at the clinic for 20 minutes after their vaccination for observation.

Primary Health Organisation enrolment data shows that there are 2,071 children aged up to four years old in Ashburton, Methven and Rakaia. Hepatitis A vaccinations have already been provided to 127 people in this age group.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news