Meningococcal B (Bexsero) rollout 2023
Kia ora koutou
I am pleased to inform you that the Director General of Health today formally approved the dosing schedule for the Meningococcal B vaccine.
Pharmac will fund Meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero) from 1 March 2023 to protect against meningococcal disease in children up to 12 months of age, administered as part of the childhood immunisation programme. It will also be funded for people aged 13 to 25 years who are entering into or in their first year of specified close-living situations. Catch up programmes will also be funded for these groups.
Pharmac’s announcement can be found here. Please note there is no change to the current high-risk criteria for funded Meningococcal B vaccine.
We will work with the sector on implementation of scheduled doses and the catch-up programmes.
Infant dose scheduling:
Bexsero is approved for use from eight weeks and over.
National Immunisation Schedule Primary course and booster
- Meningococcal B - routine childhood schedule
Bexsero will be introduced as part of the routine National Immunisation Schedule with the primary course administered at the 3 months and 5 months events followed by a booster dose at the 12 months vaccination event.
- Meningococcal B - earlier vaccination at two and four months
Because Bexsero is approved for use from 2 months, then vaccinators can offer it from this age and may discuss this option with whānau at the six-weeks immunisation event. If this option is selected, then the second dose follows at 4 months and the booster at 12 months.
Further information regarding this approach will be provided at the IMAC webinar (details below) and via the immunisation handbook.
- The vaccine is available to order now through the ProPharma funded vaccines portal.
- There is adequate stock available. General Practices should order doses in line with Prevenar13 vaccine quantities
Recording and claiming:
- The Programme is working to ensure vaccine recording and claiming will be ready by 1 March 2023.
- Opportunistic catch-up Bexsero vaccine administered to the eligible groups anytime from 1 March will be funded as per the current administration fee agreements.
- Further details on recording and claiming will be provided next week.
- Immunisation Schedule resources are being updated and will be available to order via HealthEd.
- Tamariki focused immunisation resources, including the Wellchild Tamariki Ora Health Book are being updated and will be available from HealthEd.
- Rangatahi focused collateral will be available from 1 March on the National Immunisation Programme Dropbox.
- The Immunisation Handbook is being updated and will be published online. A reminder the Handbook is no longer available in print and only the online version should be used.
Education updates, clinical & technical advice:
- IMAC are commissioned by the Programme to deliver the training updates to support implementation as well as clinical and technical advice via the 0800immune phoneline.
- A webinar is scheduled tomorrow, Wednesday 22 February to update on the practical aspects of vaccine implementation. IMAC has sent webinar details to all vaccinators.
- The webinar will address paracetamol guidelines when administering Bexsero vaccine.
If you have any questions about this update, please email Immunisation@health.govt.nz
Group Manager Operations
National Immunisation Programme