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Meningococcal Vaccination

Meningococcal disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection that can progress rapidly. Even if people survive, they may experience long-term and severe consequences such as limb amputation, hearing loss, seizures, brain inflammation, lung infection and permanent skin disfigurement. Meningococcal vaccines protect against the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease.

Free vaccinations are available at Vogeltown pharmacy for people aged 13 to 25 years entering into or in their first year of eligible close-living situations. A catch-up programme is also available for people this age who are already living in eligible close-living situations to 28 February 2024. Funding also applies for special groups.

What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection which present similarly to other flu-like illnesses with approximately 80% of cases presenting with a rash that does not blanch (become pale/go white) when pressed. In New Zealand, the infection is mostly caused by the groups A,B,C,W,Y progressing to meningitis and septicaemia in severe cases. The bacteria is transmitted from person to person by saliva, e.g kissing and can lead to severe complications.

Why should I get Meningococcal Vaccination?
Meningitis causes inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord and septicaemia is the poisoning of the blood which can lead to the loss of limbs. It is very common in children under the age of 5, teenagers and young adults, especially those that are living in close living accommodations.

How to get Meningococcal Vaccination?
Vogeltown Pharmacy now offers funded vaccines against meningococcal disease for those aged 13 to 25 years of age entering within the next three months, or in their first year of living in boarding school hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks, youth justice residences or for those in eligible living situations as a catch up from 1 March 2023 to 28 February 2024.

There are two vaccines available to cover majority of serogroups that currently present in New Zealand:
1. Bexsero (Meningococcal B Vaccine) protects against the B serogroup
2. MenQuadfi (Meningococcal ACWY) which protects against the ACWY serogroups.

Two doses are recommended for the Bexsero vaccination, 8 weeks apart whilst a single dose is recommended for MenQuadfi.  Both vaccinations can be given at the same time for the best coverage against Meningococcal disease.


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