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An agenda item for next week’s Northland District Health Board meeting confirms that there has been another case of Meningitis W in Northland, Whangarei MP Shane Reti says.

“This brings the total to two this year after a seven month old child contracted the disease earlier in the year. There were seven cases of Meningitis W in Northland last year and an outbreak was declared on 8 November, resulting in one death.

“Temperatures are lowering in Northland and I have grave concerns that Meningitis will flare up again over winter.

“David Clark first said the limited vaccinations were because of a global shortage, then he said he only found out about the outbreak in May. It was later revealed he knew in November last year and that 30,000 extra vaccines were available, but these were left on the shelf to save money.

“The Minister has failed the Northland community and MP for Northland Matt King and myself are advocating for him to do the right thing and ensure parents are provided with options to protect their children.

“We call on the Ministry to release the thousands of unused Meningitis vaccines that are slowly expiring and make them immediately available free of charge to all Northland children.

“We need to give Northland parents the assurance that every step has been taken to protect their children from Meningitis.”

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