Interior Health communications administrator Deborah Preston, left, and medical health officer Dr. Karin Goodison update media on declaring an outbreak of meningococcal disease in the Okanagan. One Coldstream secondary school student has been confirmed as having contracted the disease. (Carmen Weld/Black Press)

Meningococcal immunization clinics announced

IH announced an outbreak of the disease yesterday

Interior Health is advising the public of the following meningococcal immunization clinics throughout the Okanagan.

Interior Health declared the outbreak Thursday after having seen an increasing number of cases of the disease in the 15-to-19-year-old age group in the last six months, including the very recent case of a Kalamalka Secondary School Grade 11 student, who remains in hospital in Vancouver in a medically induced coma.

PUBLIC CLINICS:

Drop-in clinics are available for 15 to 19-year-olds who do not have access to immunization at school with the Meningococcal Quadrivalent vaccine (Men-C-ACYW-135), which has been offered to Grade 9 students since 2016.

North Okanagan

Saturday, Dec.16, from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Vernon Health Unit (1440-14 Ave.)

Central Okanagan

Saturday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Health & Services Centre (505 Doyle Ave.)

South Okanagan

Saturday, Dec. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Penticton Health Centre (740 Carmi Ave.)

The vaccine has been offered to grade nine students in B.C. since 2016, as part of the routine immunization program. If you have received this vaccine as part of the grade nine immunization program in 2016/17, you don’t need to be re-immunized, according to IH.

Students who have not received this vaccine are recommended to attend an immunization clinic at their school or a public drop-in clinic.

SCHOOL CLINICS:

School immunization clinics are currently being held and will continue throughout the upcoming week. For information about clinics in your area visit Interior Health’s clinic webpage.

*Note: Clinics are being updated regularly, so check back if your school is not listed.

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