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Northland Meningococcal W Vaccination Programme
12 December 2018

The Northland Meningococcal W vaccination programme started on the 5th December 2018 and will continue for 3 weeks - until the 21st December.

The Northland Meningococcal W vaccination programme is focussed on building the whole populations immunity. To do this those most at risk from the disease and alsothose most likely to carry the disease and infect others are being vaccinated. 

These two groups are children aged from 9 months to under 5 years and those aged 13 to under 20 years who are Northland residents.

The programme is targeting children under 5 because this is the population that is generally most affected by meningococcal disease. As a result, vaccinating this age group will protect them from getting meningococcal disease. The vaccine cannot be given to babies under 9 months.

13 to under 20 year olds are also targeted because this is the age group that generally carries the bacterium that causes the disease. Even if they have no symptoms, carriers can infect those around them. Vaccinating this age group will lower the number of carriers in Northland and stop the spread of meningococcal disease across the entire community.

In other words, vaccinating this age group will help protect all the people in Northland. 

General practice are doing what they can to source private doses of the vaccine which could be given to children aged between the ages of 5 and 13 years. There will be a cost so please discuss this with your health professional.  

To ensure that we build our whole communities immunity, which would help protect the 5 to 13 year olds, please have your children aged from 9 months to under 5 years and those aged 13 to under 20 years who are Northland residents, vaccinated at the free community clinics.

Meningococcal disease bacteria can be spread from person-to-person through secretions and respiratory droplets. Therefore, we recommend covering your nose or mouth when you sneeze or cough, and wash and dry your hands afterwards. Also, avoid sharing eating or drinking utensils, toothbrushes and pacifiers. 

For more information about the Northland Meningococcal W vaccination programme, regular updates, and a list of clinics, please go to Northland DHB's website.

 

Disclaimer - The Meningitis Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand promotes the prevention, control and awareness of meningitis. It is not a professional medical authority. The text on this website provides general information about meningitis and septicaemia, not medical advice. It is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of these diseases. Please consult your doctor to discuss the information or if you are concerned someone may be ill.

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