Hikurangi Primary School is the latest Northland school to raise funds to buy meningitis vaccines, meaning their 5-12 year olds will finally get the vaccinations they require, MP for Whangarei Dr Shane Reti says.
“It’s especially poignant for the school as 7 year old student Alexis Albert tragically died from meningitis last year.
“The Government is claiming there is no money to vaccinate Northland children aged 5-12, yet last year Winston Peters gave $10m for a vaccination program in Papua New Guinea and $1m for a meningitis vaccination program in Fiji.
“Last month Health Minister David Clark said there have been no new meningitis cases in Northland since we started vaccinating, but he has since been proved wrong with the first new case of meningitis W diagnosed in Northland last week.
“I want to acknowledge Hikurangi Primary School, Whangarei Rotary and the local community for fundraising to protect these children. I look forward to visiting the school and administering the vaccinations myself.
“Whilst it’s immensely pleasing to see the vaccinations for 5-12 year olds going ahead, it should have been funded by the Government from the start and local communities cannot afford to be covering the Governments shortfalls.
“I call on the Government to announce a full meningitis vaccination program for all Northland children under 20 in next month’s Budget.”