BMX riders, kickboxers to lure A'dam teens to Meningococcus vaccination

The municipality of Amsterdam and health institute GGD are putting extra effort into boosting the turnout for the meningococcus vaccination in the city on Thursday. Some 25 thousand teenagers were invited to be vaccinated at the RAI on Thursday. And to incite them into actually showing up, entertainment including BMX demonstrations and a kickboxing class presented by champions Fabio and Chico Kwasi was arranged, Het Parool reports.

The turnout for the previous rounds of meningococcus vaccinations in the city was disappointing. Only 63 percent of invited teenagers showed up for vaccinations in April, and in the summer of last year Amsterdam's turnout was the lowest in the country. Alderman Simone Kukenheim and the GGD now aim for a turnout of at least 80 percent. The national average is 86.5 percent.

The festivities at the RAI on Thursday will start at 1:00 p.m. with a "acrobatic basketball" performance by the Dunking Devils. In addition to the BMX demonstrations and kickboxing class, a cycle track will also be built where teenagers can ride a fun bike. "A big spectacle. We hope that this is extra motivation for the young people to get their shot", GGD spokesperson Johan Braber said to Het Parool.

The GGD also advertised the vaccination round on all fronts - social media, posters on the street, and information in the class room. Over the past weeks doctors and nurses visited schools to talk about the vaccine. "Important, it turned out. Because the doctors and nurses heard various misunderstandings about vaccines, such as that they give you cancer", GGD spokesperson Joke Janse said to the newspaper. "Our people were surprised by the stories that are apparently going around, also on the internet. It is therefore important to get in direct contact with the young people and their parents."