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Expansion Of Access To MenB Vaccine Urgently Needed

Meningococcal B is a rare but very serious disease, causing death and serious long-term disabilities. Even when the disease is identified and treated early, one to two people out of every 10 may die. One to two people out of every 10 who survive meningococcal disease can have long-term complications: extensive skin scarring, limb amputation, hearing loss, seizures, or brain injury.

Pharmac is currently considering expanding access to meningococcal B vaccine. Immunisation Advisory Centre Medical Director Nikki Turner says "this is a very nasty and frightening disease that particularly affects our young children and infants. There is a good vaccine that can be used, but up until now it has not been widely available unless you privately purchase it, which many of our families cannot afford.

"We are very pleased to see Pharmac is consulting on expanding access to the MenB vaccine, Bexsero. We strongly support the introduction of this on the national schedule programme, particularly for our infants and children aged under 5 years," says Nikki Turner.

IMAC has provided our view on this to Pharmac.

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