Every SECOND counts. If you suspect meningitis, GET MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. Call or see your doctor / Call an ambulance / Get to a hospital.

News

Meningococcal B Vaccine NOW AVAILABLE!
11 November 2018

Bexsero, a vaccine to protect against the most common form of meningococcal disease, meningococcal B, is now available in New Zealand.

This is great news for New Zealand families as most New Zealanders are not currently protected against meningococcal B. 

Meningococcal disease is an uncommon but serious infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria live in the nose and throat and around 10 - 20% of people carry the bacteria without ever becoming ill.

The bacteria is spread through coughing and sneezing, sharing drinks and eating utensils, kissing, and living in close quarters. 

Anyone can get meningococcal B, however babies and children under 5 are most at risk, followed by teens.

Meningococcal disease may present with symptoms similar to the flu (refer to the symptom card onthe front page of our website) and will progress quickly, usually without warning. It is important that you seek medical advice as quickly as possible as every second counts. 

A person with meningococcal disease can develop meningitis, septicaemia or pneumonia.

Bexsero, the only vaccine available for meningococcal B, is given by injection and a number of doses is needed. Talk to your local GP as this will depend on the age of the person being vaccinated.

Bexsero is not included on the New Zealand National Immunisation Schedule, which means it is not funded by the government. You will need to pay for the vaccine.

For more information, go to the Ministry of Health or The Immunisation Advisory Centre.

Disclaimer - The Meningitis Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand promotes the prevention, control and awareness of meningitis. It is not a professional medical authority. The text on this website provides general information about meningitis and septicaemia, not medical advice. It is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of these diseases. Please consult your doctor to discuss the information or if you are concerned someone may be ill.

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