FAQs: Enabling childhood immunisations in community pharmacy

Last month Te Whatu Ora and Pharmac held a joint consultation about the removal of pharmacy ordering restrictions for childhood immunisations. You can read more about the consultation and our proposed changes on the Pharmac website.

We’re currently working through the feedback that was received during the consultation and have developed an FAQ document in response to the most common questions we’ve received. The FAQ document is available on our Dropbox:

FAQs - Enabling childhood immunisations in pharmacy

We’ll continue to provide you with updates as this work progresses.

Free MenB catch up period ends 28 February 2024

Meningococcal B and Meningococcal ACWY vaccines are free for those aged between 13 and 25 years (inclusive) who are 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 facilities or prisons.

Until 28 February 2024, there is also a free catch-up period for MenB vaccines, for those aged 13 to 25 years in any year of a close living facility.

Te Whatu Ora issued a media statement on 23 January to encourage young people get immunised.

Eligible young people encouraged to have free meningococcal vaccines

As long as the first dose is given before the free catch-up period ends, the second dose can be claimed even if it’s administered after 28 February 2024.

Details for accessing collateral to help promote Meningococcal vaccines can be found at the end of this email.

MMR vaccines encouraged for travellers

Te Whatu Ora recently advised Kiwis travelling overseas to make sure they are fully immunised against measles, as cases continue to occur around the world, including in Australia, the United Kingdom, across the Middle East and Asia, and parts of the United States.

Measles alerts overseas prompts warning for New Zealand travellers

As a reminder, if whānau are travelling to a country with an active measles outbreak and their baby is less than 12 months old, they may be able to get an MMR dose 0 from 4 months of age. The vaccination status of the caregivers/parents and wider whānau who will be travelling should also be checked at this time.

Information about administering MMR dose 0 can be found in the Immunisation Handbook or by calling IMAC: 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)

Our regular reminders on collateral

Dropbox downloadable collateral

Don’t forget all our immunisation collateral is available on Dropbox for health care providers to use when promoting vaccinations. Please feel free to share this link and the collateral widely with your other healthcare colleagues: Dropbox – National Immunisation Programme – vaccine resources.

Collateral in HealthEd

Immunisation resources are also available from HealthEd. We have added some of our immunisation collateral to HealthEd under the vaccinations and immunisations topic. You can now download the resource PDF directly from the HealthEd website, and printed copies of some resources are available to order through Bluestar. If you don’t already have a Bluestar login account, please see below on how to sign up.

Collateral in Bluestar 

Printed copies of some resources can be ordered for free via the Bluestar portal. If you’re not already registered, you can register on the Bluestar portal. Below the login details, select ‘Need to Register?’. Complete the online registration form, include your clinic/practice/pharmacy name and your contact details. You will receive an email confirming your registration. Remember to click the button in the email to 'Activate' your registration.

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