MEDIA RELEASES

Meningococcal C Vaccinations - FREE for a limited time

Meningococcal Disease is Serious - Has your child been vaccinated?

Northland DHB will be offering FREE Meningococcal Vaccination, for a limited time via community clinics. The weekly clinics will be providing vaccinations from Wednesday 16 May.

This is an extension of the programme delivered following last years’ community outbreak of Meningococcal C disease in Northland.
 
Although nearly 75% of Northland children and youth were immunised, there are some who missed out.  So, for a limited time, this vaccination is being offered again, free for all Northlanders aged 12months to under 20 years. 

Meningococcal C causes meningitis (inflammation around the brain) or septicaemia (blood poisoning) which can rapidly cause serious illness or death (within 24 hours). Fever, headache or a stiff neck, vomiting, and irritability or drowsiness are some of the symptoms. Some people will also develop a rash.

Northland DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Clair Mills says this is not a disease to be taken lightly, “Most of those affected by Meningococcal C last year, were young people and children, and tragically in three cases this proved fatal

We have a limited stock of vaccine available via the Wednesday clinics, this is a opportunity for those who missed out last year or who are new to the area to have the vaccination FREE of charge. We strongly encourage all children aged 12 months up to 20 years, who are not vaccinated, to be vaccinated now.”, said Dr Mills.

FREE VACCINATION CLINICS – OPEN WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS 12.00pm to 5.00pm

(starting Wednesday 16 May)

Kaitaia

Accident and Emergency Department, Kaitaia Hospital

Kerikeri

Northland DHB Public Health Unit, Hobson Avenue 

Kaikohe

Northland DHB Community Health Services, Rankin Street

Kawakawa

Accident and Emergency Department, Bay of Islands Hospital

Dargaville

Dargaville Hospital Outpatients Department

Whangarei

Community Health Services
Tohorā House, Whangarei Hospital Campus, Maunu Road, Whangarei

The vaccine being used (Meningitec ®) has a very good safety record and has been widely used in Europe, UK and Australia since 1999. The vaccine does not contain live bacteria and it is not possible to get the disease from the vaccine. Only one dose is required to give protection in children over 12 months of age.

If you have questions about vaccination, or are concerned about meningococcal disease or believe you have been in close contact with a meningococcal case, you can talk to your local public health nurse service:

  • Kaitaia (09) 4089180
  • Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Kerikeri – (0800) 100 643
  • Dargaville: (09) 439 7149
  • Whangarei (0800) 746 944

Meningococcal Disease can be difficult to diagnose and anyone with symptoms should seek medical attention without delay, as early treatment is very important.

Advice is available 24 hours via Healthline (0800 611 116) - calls are answered by trained health professionals. In an emergency dial 111.



ENDS

For more information contact:
Paula Martin, Communications Officer
Phone: 09-430 4101 extn 3321



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