Clinically severe diphtheria is caused by toxin-producing (toxigenic) strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Infection with toxigenic diphtheria strains is extremely rare in New Zealand (NZ), but they continue to circulate elsewhere in the world, so there is a risk of importation through international travel particularly from South-East Asia. Globally, immunity in young children has dramatically improved through targeted immunisation programmes, and as a result, from 1998 to 2000 reported diphtheria cases decreased by more than 90% globally.
A primary aim of pneumococcal immunisation programmes is to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), defined as infection of Streptococcus pneumoniae in the blood or other normally sterile sites, with associated hospitalisations and deaths. Pneumococci also cause respiratory tract infections without bacteraemia; the most severe of which is pneumococcal pneumonia, but also include middle-ear infection (acute otitis media) and sinusitis.
Tetanus toxoid vaccination has been part of the routine immunisation schedule in New Zealand (NZ) since 1958 and was funded from 1960. Prior to that time, tetanus toxoid (TT) had been used for voluntary vaccinations since the 1940s and 1950s, and was often delivered to those on military service. The number of doses provided by the National Immunisation Schedule (the Schedule) has increased over the decades from four childhood doses commencing in 1960.
To help inform the New Zealand Immunisation Schedule, this review of evidence was conducted to investigate key questions:
Even with immunisation programmes, pertussis remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Infants are especially vulnerable to this highly contagious bacterial infection due to the immaturity of their immune and respiratory systems.
This is a review of scientific literature, published from January 2014 to March 2018, considering licensed meningococcal vaccines and their role in prevention of IMD. The aim is to inform policy decisions around the routine use of these meningococcal vaccines in New Zealand. It is not a systematic review and does not consider cost related analyses.
Influenza is a respiratory virus that causes acute respiratory illness. Severe illness and secondary complications lead to hospitalisation and death of young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a range of underlying medical conditions. However, healthy children and adults can also be at risk of serious illness following influenza infection.
Infection with rotavirus can cause severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children. Dehydration due to this infection is a major cause of hospitalisation of young children worldwide and leads to death in regions of the world without access to good health care. Rotavirus infections have also been linked to seizures in young children and in the most severe cases, secondary bacterial blood infections caused by intestinal bacteria flora. Almost all children experience rotavirus infection within their first 3 years of life, regardless of sanitation standards.
Over 72 countries have human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine on their National Immunisation Programme. This report summarises new research into HPV vaccines and vaccination published during the past two and half years, from January 2013 to June 2016.
This review summarises selected literature on the use of varicella-zoster virus vaccines published from 2013 to May 2016.