Tuberculosis

Visit the Ministry of Health website(external link) for health information about Tuberculosis.

Notice re BCG vaccination availability

What is the BCG vaccine?

  • The BCG vaccine is an injection given to children who have a higher risk of catching TB.
  • The BCG vaccine helps your child’s immune system fight the germs that cause TB and helps stop them from getting serious TB disease.
  • The BCG vaccine is FREE for children under five years of age who have a higher risk of catching TB.

There is an ongoing worldwide shortage of BCG vaccine which is affecting New Zealand and many other countries.
The current limited supply of BCG vaccine in New Zealand was used up by 31 May.
The vaccine distributor Seqiris is unable to provide an estimate of when new BCG vaccine will become available in New Zealand.

From 1 June 2016 we are suspending all BCG vaccinations within the greater Waikato region until further notice. BCG referrals and BCG eligibility assessment forms do not need to be completed until further notice.

A waiting list is not possible as vaccine supplies are unlikely to be replenished in 2016.

We are in regular contact with PHARMAC, the Ministry of Health and Seqiris, and will advise you when more information becomes available.

Information for health professionals on global shortage of BCG vaccine:

Until further supplies of the BCG vaccine are obtained, the Ministry of Health is advising health care practitioners to have an increased awareness for TB in children who meet the criteria for BCG vaccine, or who have recently spent long periods living in countries where there is a high risk of transmission of TB.
The Ministry of Health is in regular contact with PHARMAC on this matter as PHARMAC is responsible for vaccine procurement.

Read more here [PDF, 145 KB] (Ministry of Health advisory to health professionals, June 2016)

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