Immunisation Schedule Changes 2017

National Immunisation Schedule from 1 July 2017

Varicella vaccine 

  • Children born on or after 1 April 2016 will be eligible for one funded varicella immunisation.
  • The varicella vaccine will be offered at 15 months of age alongside the other routine immunisations, which means four injections will be given at this event – Hib, varicella, PCV and MMR.  It is recommended that all four vaccines are given at the same visit.
  • One dose of varicella vaccine will also be funded for children who have not previously had a dose of varicella vaccine or been infected with varicella, who turn 11 years of age on or after 1 July 2017.

Rotarix 

Rotarix (RV1) will be replacing RotaTeq (RV5) on the Schedule. Rotarix will be distributed once existing stocks of RotaTeq have been used up. This is likely to be mid to late August.

There are important clinical considerations to note with this change:

  • Rotarix is given as a two-dose regimen at 6 weeks and 3 months of age
  • The age limits for the administration of Rotarix are:
    • the first dose must be given BEFORE the infant turns 15 weeks of age, ie.14 weeks and 6 days old.
    • the second dose must be given BEFORE the infant turns 25 weeks of age, ie. 24 weeks and 6 days old.
  • For infants who have started a RotaTeq course they must have three rotavirus vaccine doses. They can complete with RotaTeq while it is still available or complete with Rotarix.  Refer to the Table 17.3 from the Immunisation Handbook 2017 below for the recommendations for infants aged under 25 weeks who are transitioning from RotaTeq (RV5) to Rotarix (RV1):
 Recommendations for infants aged under 25 weeks who are transitioning from RV5 (RotaTeq) to RV1 (Rotarix)
Number of RV5 doses previously received Number of RV1 doses required
3 RV5 Fully immunised – no RV1 required
2 RV5 1 RV1* at least 4 weeks after the 2nd RV5
1 RV5 2 RV1* at least 4 weeks between each of the doses

*All doses of RV1 must be given prior to turning age 25 weeks (ie the latest is 24 weeks and 6 days)

Synflorix (PCV10)
Synflorix will be replacing Prevenar 13 on the routine childhood schedule. Synflorix will be distributed once existing stocks of Prevenar 13 have been run down. This is likely to be mid to late August.
If a child is due for a pneumococcal vaccine and they have previously received Prevenar 13 they can transition to Synflorix for their remaining immunisation schedule without requiring additional doses. Where this occurs the child should develop full protection against the ten strains covered by both vaccines, and they are likely to have partial protection against the additional strains covered by Prevenar 13.

From mid-August, funded Prevenar 13 doses will only be available to order for high risk patients who meet the eligibility criteria for the vaccine. Please do not stockpile doses of this vaccine in your fridge.

Other vaccine brand changes
There will also be brand changes to the:

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine from MMR-II to Priorix
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine from Act-Hib to Hiberix.

Rotarix, Synflorix, Priorix and Hiberix will be distributed once existing vaccinebrands have been used up – likely to be mid to late August.

The Immunisation Handbook 2017 is now available as a pdf on the Ministry of Health website at www.health.govt.nz/publication/immunisationhandbook-2017.

MyPractice changes
The NIR, MyPractice and Ministry payment systems are being updated for the 1 July Schedule changes.  These changes will be in Release 17.6 onwards.

UPDATE YOUR VACCINE GROUPS to add Varicella from July 1
  • Add Varilix at 15M and 11Y
Update your Vaccine Groups as you obtain the new vaccines 
  • As stocks of your Rotateq run out , replace them with Rotarix and update the Vaccine Groups at 6W and 3M. Remove the 3rd dose of Rotateq at 5M
  • As stocks of Prevenar 13 are replaced with PCV10 update the 6W, 3M, 5M and 15M to Synforix PCV10
  • MMR (15M and 4Y) brand changes to Priorix
  • Hib (15M) brand Changes to Hibrix

(The new vaccine group can also be downloaded from our website but you will need to ensure you have used up your older vaccines and only have stocks of the new vaccines available )

Vaccines can be claimed with the Standard Indication (at risk groups) for Hib, Meningococcal B, PCV13, Hepatitis B vaccines

Claims will be allowed for both the new and old vaccines (until August)