National MP for Whangārei Shane Reti is urging the government to vaccinate 20,000 Northland children who are not eligible for free meningitis shots.
The DHB is targeting the under-fives and teenagers, the groups most at risk, because its funding won't stretch to cover five to 12-year-olds.
Dr Reti said protecting that age group in the north would cost only $700,000, about the same as building 35m of new road.
He said many parents with ineligible children had contacted him, desperate to have them vaccinated but unable to afford the private cost of $110.
Northland DHB said more than half the children eligible for free shots had been vaccinated and there'd been no new cases of the disease over summer.
It's aiming to vaccinate thousands more this month through in-school programmes.