INDEPENDENT NEWS

Community clinics to be held throughout Otago

Published: Tue 22 Nov 2005 05:31 PM
22 November 2005
Community clinics to be held throughout Otago for meningococcal B vaccinations
The Otago meningococcal B campaign will offer community clinics throughout Otago over the next few weeks.
Otago meningococcal B campaign sponsor Dr Roy Morris said the clinics are aimed at people who do not have a regular GP, or who for whatever reason, do not wish to go to the GP for the vaccination.
“Research carried out throughout the campaign has indicated that some people do not see the GP as the place to receive the meningococcal B vaccination.”
“The community clinics have been set up to ensure we obtain the highest possible coverage for children and young people aged between 6 weeks and 20 years,” he said.
Clinics will be held from 11am to 6pm in Balclutha on 1 December; Oamaru on 2 December; South Dunedin on 7,8 and 9 December and in Central Otago in 2006.
People are urged to attend these clinics.
The vaccination is free. To be fully vaccinated, three doses are required, delivered approximately six weeks apart.
Dr Morris said a number of GPs throughout Otago were offering the option of drop-in vaccinations, which meant a person didn’t need to make an appointment.
GPs will continue to offer meningococcal B vaccinations until 1 March 2006, which is the last date to receive the first dose.
The meningococcal B campaign vaccinations will finish are expected to cease from 30 June 2006.
It is expected that newborn babies will continue to receive the vaccination through the immunisation schedule for newborns.
More than 122,000 doses of the meningococcal B vaccine MeNZB have now been given to young people under 20 in Otago. This represents more than three quarters of the estimated 150,000 doses to be delivered to around 50,000 babies, children and young people aged between six weeks and 20 years.
Dr Morris said Otago’s meningococcal B vaccination campaign progress was on track and compares favourably with many other regions around the country.
“However it is important that we do not get complacent, so we will keep attempting to vaccinate segments of the population that appear to have lower meningococcal B vaccination rates,” he said.
“These include young people who have left school and are under 20. According to the latest statistics, around 59% of all Otago’s 18 and 19 year olds had been vaccinated with dose one.
For this age group, Otago is currently tracking well above the national figure of 50.99%, but we would like to do better.
“ Maori vaccination figures in Otago, particularly for under 5 year olds and for young people under 20 who have left school, are also lower than we would like to see, so it is important for the DHB and community to determine why, and come up with strategies to improve them.”
Dr Morris said that a further round of community clinics would also be held in February before the Dose one cut off time and until June 30 2005 for does two and/or three.
ENDS

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