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New Zealand’s Meningococcal Vaccine Strategy (A) 2006-18.1

17 January 2008



On 11 May 2004, Meningococcal Vaccine Strategy (MVS) Director Jane O’Hallahan had to decide whether she would have to reset the date on which she hoped to roll out the new vaccine designed to combat New Zealand’s extraordinarily high levels of meningococcal disease. 450,000 doses were already in storage and all the preparations made for the pilot roll out. Clinical trial results were all positive. Consent to proceed seemed likely, but recent requests for additional data and overseas expertise cast new doubt on when it might be granted. The roll out could not proceed without the consent of the independent licensing authority, and there was increasing uncertainty about when that might come. A date too early could damage carefully nurtured confidence; too late, might waste thousands of dollars as well as precious vaccine. With every day’s delay another child risked lifetime disability or death.

This case explores a national strategy to combat a public health crisis. Part A can be used to discuss strategic planning of a programme with significant limitations, including licensing, resource availability, and timing.

Read more:

  • part B describes how the roll out of the vaccine eventually took place at a later date, and summarises the complete immunisation programme that officially ended 30 June 2006.
Authors: Janet Tyson
Published Date: 17 January 2008
Author Institution: ANZSOG
Featured Content Length: 5
Content Length: 15
Product Type: Part A, Primary resources