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For Immediate Release:
December 9, 2004

Free Meningitis C Vaccine Available

(Brampton) - Peel Public Health in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is pleased to announce that free Meningitis Type C conjugate vaccine will be available to Grade 7 students and Peel youth aged 15 to 19 years. The vaccine will be administered at schools and community clinics in 2005.

Meningococcal Type C conjugate vaccine protects against disease caused by one type of Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. This vaccine has been shown to protect over 90 per cent of people from group C meningococcal disease. This type of bacteria is commonly associated with outbreaks amongst schools and universities in Canada. The bacteria that causes meningitis is found in the nose and throat of infected persons and may also be found in up to 30 per cent of healthy individuals (carriers). The bacteria are spread through saliva and droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing. While most people never develop active disease, the bacteria can cause serious infection of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or a blood infection.

"Meningococcal disease is a very serious illness. I am pleased that Peel Health will be offering Meningococcal Type C conjugate vaccine in schools and community clinics," said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Associate Medical Officer of Health. "I encourage eligible youth to participate in Peel Health's vaccine campaign to prevent and contain this serious health threat"

School clinics will begin in January 2005. Community clinics will start in May 2005. For more information on Meningococcal Type C disease, the vaccine or clinics, please call Health Line Peel at 905-799-7700 or visit the Meningitis Web site.

Dr. Eileen de Villa
Associate Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 2856

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9 Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail



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