A vaccine against asthma and allergy?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Scientists at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington have made significant progress in the basic research required to develop a vaccine against asthma and allergy.

Explaining the principle behind this vaccine Institute Director Professor Graham Le Gros said “We don’t know why the immune systems of individuals with asthma or food allergy respond to house dust mites and food proteins as though they were parasites. But what we do know from our research is that if we shut down the Th2 immune response before it gets going, we can prevent the development of asthma and allergy symptoms”.

The work at the Malaghan Institute complements past research that showed a decrease in allergy and asthma symptoms in young children who had received immunisation against some infectious diseases when compared with their unimmunised peer group.

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Only one dose of chicken pox vaccine for those under 13 years old

Friday, 15 July 2011

In New Zealand a single dose of either brand of varicella vaccine in children under the age of 13 years is likely to be adequate because there is a lot of wild virus circulating that will boost immunity.

Initially in the U.S. a single varicella vaccination was part of the national immunisation programme. The vaccine effectiveness meant much less wild disease was circulating and subsequently less immunity boosting occurred. Adolescents in the U.S. began experiencing breakthrough varicella disease and the U.S. introduced a two dose varicella vaccination schedule for children. Australia, who also have a single varicella vaccination on their national immunisation programme, may be following a similar trend of reduced incidence of wild varicella disease. In New Zealand the varicella vaccine is not on the National Immunisation Schedule, we are not experiencing a reduction in wild varicella disease.

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Northland meningococcal C immunisation programme ended

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The immunisation programme ended on December 16th 2011. An estimated 31,455 Northlanders are belived to have taken up the offer of free vaccine against the serious disease.

The meningococcal C vaccine is no longer available free within the Northland District Health Board area. It can be purchased through your local doctor.

The Northland meningococcal disease free information line 0800 430 123 is still being staffed 24 hours each day for those with questions about meningococcal disease or the vaccine.

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IPOL is used for primary and booster vaccination of infants, children and adults to protect against infection with Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 polioviruses causing poliomyelitis.

Pneumovax® 23


Pneumovax® 23 is used for vaccination of children 2 years of age and over and adults to protect against disease caused by 23 types of Streptococcus pneumonia. Pneumovax® 23 is only used in children after the age of 2 years.



M-M-R® II is used for primary vaccination and revaccination of children and adults to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

Menomune® ACYW-135

Meningococcal A,C,Y,W135 polysaccharide vaccine

Menomune® is used for vaccination of children two years of age and over and adults to protect against four groups of Neisseria meningitidis, group A, group C, group Y and group W-135. Menomune® is only used in children after the age of two years.

ADT™ Booster


ADT™ Booster is used for primary and booster vaccination of children 7 years of age and over and adults to protect against tetanus and diphtheria. An alternative vaccine called Boostrix®, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough), can be substituted for one, two or all three doses of the primary vaccinations in these age groups. Both ADT™ Booster and Boostrix® are licensed as booster vaccines. They are used for primary vaccination out of licensure as there is no alternative primary vaccination strength vaccine available in New Zealand for these age groups. When the vaccine is used for a primary vaccination course, use will be outside of current licensure. No safety concerns are expected with use in these circumstances.



Infanrix®-IPV is used for primary and booster vaccination of infants and children to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis. Infanrix®-IPV can also be used for catch-up immunisation for children up to their 10th birthday.


Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Gardasil® is funded for use for primary immunisation of girls from 9 years of age and young women to protect them from four types of human papillomavirus infection, HIV positive individuals aged 9-26 years, and individuals who are pre- or post-solid organ transplantation. Gardasil® is not funded but can be used for primary immunisation of females who are not eligible for funded vaccine and within the age group of 9 through 45 years and males aged 9 through 26 years to protect them from four types of human papillomavirus infection.

The Institute of Environmental Science & Research Limited (ESR)Sexually transmitted infections in New Zealand 2011 Surveillance Report identified decreasing numbers of new genital warts cases between 2008 and 2011, most notable in 2010 and 2011 and in females aged 15-19 years, corresponding with commencement of the HPV immunisation programme. The Genital Warts pages from the full report are available here. The full ESR report is available from the ESR Public Health Surveillance website.

A short YouTube DVD, The Story of HPV (Human Papillomavirus), provides information for women, parents and caregivers, health workers and students planning to work in the health sector about the human papillomavirus, the Gardasil® vaccine that helps to protect against HPV, and the importance of cervical screening and practising safer sex in protecting women's health.


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