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Meningococcal disease information for health professionals

Information sheets

  Purchase of non-funded meningococcal vaccines – July 2020

  Quick answers to frequent meningococcal vaccine questions – July 2020

  Bexsero: A vaccine to protect against meningococcal group B disease – June 2020

  Paracetamol use with Bexsero in children aged under 2 years

  Meningococcal disease – June 2020

Resource from HealthEd

 Immunise against meningococcal disease (code HE2596)

 A resource for adolescents living closely with others.
 Available throuth the HealthEd website.

 

 

 

Quick answers to frequent meningococcal vaccine questions

Which vaccines protect against meningococcal disease?

No one vaccine covers all the meningococcal groups causing disease in New Zealand.

  • Bexsero® protects against meningococcal group B, which caused 43–45% of cases over 2018–2019.
  • NeisVac-C® protects against meningococcal group C, which caused 5–8% of cases over 2018–2019.
  • Menactra® and Nimenrix® protect against meningococcal groups A, C, Y and W,and groups C, Y and W caused 49–42% of cases over 2018–2019.

⇒ These vaccines are available for purchase by people with an increased risk of exposure to meningococcal bacteria or risk of invasive disease. NeisVac-C (infants aged under 9 months) and Menactra (infants and children aged 9 months or older and adults) are recommended and funded for a small group of individuals with a condition listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Should we recommend an A, C, Y and W vaccine over a B vaccine, or vice versa?

Health professionals are not advised to recommend an A, C, Y, W vaccine over a B vaccine or vice versa, a B vaccine over an A, C, Y, W vaccine. Health professionals cannot accurately predict who will get meningococcal disease or which meningococcal group could be the cause.

Can we give less doses of Bexsero if a person has a history of MeNZB vaccination?

No. Two doses of Bexsero are recommended for older children, adolescents and adults regardless of a history of MeNZB vaccination.

Can Bexsero be given at the same visit as Menactra or Nimenrix?

Yes. Menactra or Nimenrix and Bexsero can be administered at the same visit using different sites.

Is a minimum interval required between administration of Bexsero and Menactra or Nimenrix?

No. When Menactra or Nimenrix and Bexsero are not coadministered, no minimum interval is required before administration of the subsequent vaccine.

Is a minimum interval required between administration of Bexsero, Menactra or Nimenrix and any other vaccine?
Menactra** or Nimenrix and Bexsero can be administered at the same visit as any other vaccine or any interval before/after any other vaccine. 
**except when Menactra and Prevenar® 13 are being administered, a minimum interval of 4 weeks is required between administration of these two vaccines. 

Can a combination of Menactra and Nimenrix be used to deliver a primary course of meningococcal A, C, Y and W vaccines in children aged under 24 months?

Yes. Menactra is approved for use as a two dose vaccine course in children aged 9–23 months (inclusively). A child in this age group who receives one dose of Menactra can recieve either Menactra or Nimenrix a minimum of three months later to complete their primary vaccine course.

Can a pregnant woman receive Bexsero, Menactra or Nimenrix?

Yes. There are no safety concerns around administration of Menactra, Nimenrix or Bexsero at any stage of pregnancy. These are non-live vaccines and the advice is consistent with the recommendation for a pregnant woman to receive non-live vaccines when she has an increased risk of disease, for example influenza vaccination is recommended at any stage of pregnancy because they have an increased risk of influenza disease and complications.

Is a minimum interval required between administration of NeisVac-C and Menactra or Nimenrix?

No minimum interval is required between administration of NeisVac-C (meningococcal C only vaccine) and administration of a subsequent Menactra or Nimenrix. However, when Menactra is administered in place of the second NeisVac-C dose in children aged under 12 months a minimum interval of 8 weeks between the first NeisVac-C and administration of Menactra could be considered. In this situation, a second Menactra administered 3 months later would still be recommended to complete the primary vaccine doses for the meningococcal A, Y and W antigens.

Which meningococcal vaccine fact sheet should I print first?

  Purchase of non-funded meningococcal vaccines – July 2020

Extension of Menactra eligibility for people aged 13–25 years in an eligible close-living situation. 

Who will be eligible?

  • From 1 December 2019, meningococcal ACWY vaccination will be funded for individuals aged 13–25 years in their first year of living in a boarding school hostel, tertiary education hall of residence, military barracks or prison.
  • There will also be a catch-up programme from 1 December 2019 to 30 November 2020 for those  aged 13–25 years who are already in one of these close-living situations.

Are international students eligible?

  • All students aged under 18 years are eligible to receive funded vaccines as per the National Immunisation Schedule regardless of residency status.
  • Students aged 18 years or older must be eligible to receive publicly funded health and disability services in New Zealand to receive funded vaccines, including meningococcal ACWY vaccine.

How do eligible individuals access the vaccine?

  • From 1 December 2019 those who qualify would be able to make an appointment with their primary care provider to receive the meningococcal ACWY vaccination up to 3 months before entering a boarding school hostel, tertiary education hall of residence, military barracks or prison close-living situation.

How far in advance of moving into a close-living situation should people be vaccinated?

  • Eligible individuals will be able to receive the meningococcal ACWY vaccination up to 3 months before entering a boarding school hostel, tertiary education hall of residence, military barracks or prison close-living situation. Ideally, people would be vaccinated at least two weeks prior to moving into a close-living situation.

How many doses are required?

  • One dose for individuals who are in their first year of living in a boarding school hostel, tertiary education hall of residence, military barracks or prison; or
  • One dose for individuals who are currently living in a boarding school hostel, tertiary education hall of residence, military barracks, or prison, from 1 December 2019 to 30 November 2020.
  • Individuals who have previously received a dose of meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Menactra® or Nimenrix®) do not require a booster dose for 5 years.

How does primary care access vaccine?

  • The funded vaccine, Menactra, can be ordered from ProPharma when the practice places an order for other Immunisation Schedule vaccines.

Can primary care claim for providing the vaccine?

  • Yes. Primary care providers can claim an Immunisation Subsidy for administration of the vaccination in the same way they claim for other 'special groups’ funded vaccinations.

Who else can receive funded meningococcal ACWY vaccine?

A small group of individuals with a high-risk medical condition listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule can receive funded meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Refer to our fact sheet Funded vaccines for special groups from 1 July 2020 or Table 12.4 in the current Immunisation Handbook:

Special groups on the Immunisation Schedule

  • Pre/post-splenectomy or with functional asplenia.
  • HIV positive.
  • Inherited or acquired complement deficiency.
  • Pre/post-solid organ transplantation.
  • Following stem cell/bone marrow transplantation.
  • Following immunosuppression for longer than 28 days.
  • Adolescents and young adults aged 13–25 years in a close-living situation, e.g. boarding school, university hall of residence, military barracks or prison.
  • Close contact of a meningococcal disease case.

Other resources

Useful links

 Ministry of Health Meningococcal disease: Information for general practitioners and emergency departments

 Ministry of Health Meningococcal vaccines: Eligibility, recommendations and supply

Last updated: Jul 2020