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Full information needed to enhance confidence

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

12 January 2006


Full information needed to enhance confidence

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall is calling for full information to be released on the need for a fourth Meningococcal B vaccination for babies.

“The Meningococcal B scheme is a vital programme, especially for kids and teenagers. Full public information is essential to maintain public confidence,” says Mr Ryall.

“There's been a lot of reported criticism of this programme, which is why openness is so important. A casual comment from the Ministry of Health about a possible fourth shot, made over the holiday period, is grossly inadequate.

“The public should have access to the research on which this decision is based.

“Health Minister Pete Hodgson is so used to Labour Party secrecy that it is contaminating public information in areas like this, where openness is the key to public support.

“It’s time to put all the facts on the table, so that mothers and fathers can make sound choices and ensure their kids are fully protected.

“The latest available information indicates that less than half of all Maori kids under five have been fully immunised, and only two-thirds of all kids under five have had all three shots.

“The need for a fourth shot makes it all the more important that the most at-risk groups are identified and their vaccination rates lifted,” says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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