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The $200 million decision for New Zealand’s Meningococcal Vaccine Strategy 2007-19.1

17 January 2008



On 10 December 2001, Jane O’Hallahan from the New Zealand Ministry of Health was waiting outside the Cabinet room, where Government was considering a paper asking it to spend up to $200 million and share a significant risk with an overseas, private sector partner. A new vaccine was needed to protect New Zealand children against a unique strain of group B meningococcal disease. It would be the single biggest public health expenditure ever made in New Zealand. The proposed vaccine did not yet exist and might even fail to be developed. The Ministry had already signed a preliminary contract with the chosen manufacturer, Chiron Corporation, subject to Cabinet’s decision on funding. O’Hallahan, leader of the Meningococcal Vaccine Strategy team, had spent most of the past year building support for this bid. She was prepared for some searching questions.

This case chiefly explores policy skills, particularly for a program that looks beyond costs. It might also be used to discuss public health, risk management, and crisis management.

Authors: Janet Tyson
Published Date: 17 January 2008
Author Institution: ANZSOG
Featured Content Length: 3
Content Length: 6
Product Type: One-part case, Primary resources