27 Sep 2011

Meningococcal vaccinations begin in Northland

4:02 pm on 27 September 2011

Health workers have begun vaccinating school pupils in Northland in a bid to limit an outbreak of meningococcal disease.

There has been nine cases in the region since July and three deaths.

A mass vaccination programme for children and young people started on Tuesday morning in Whangarei and Kerikeri.

Northland Health says nurses have so far vaccinated 200 children at Kamo High School in Whangarei and a smaller number at two private schools in Kerikeri.

On Wednesday vaccinations begin at Kerikeri High School where senior students will be on their first day back after a study break.

The vaccination is for the C strain of meningococcal disease, which is less common in New Zealand, but is currently prevalent in Northland.