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:

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

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.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>

Culture: RNZB Showcases NZ Artists With Two World Premieres

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opens on 22 May will showcase the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field. More>>

Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news