18 Nov 2012

NZ must wait for meningococcal B vaccine

6:14 am on 18 November 2012

The director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre says it could take two to three years before a new vaccine against meningococcal B is introduced in New Zealand.

The European Medicines Agency has approved the new 4CMenB vaccine, meaning it could become available in Europe within months.

However, Immunisation Advisory Centre's director says the process of getting the vaccine to New Zealand is not simple and it must first pass licensing tests.

Nikki Turner says new vaccines are very expensive and this one would work only against the B strain of the disease, which needs to be weighed up against a demand for a meningococcal C vaccine and vaccines for other illnesses.