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March 28th, 2023

Bexsero (Meningococcal B) Vaccination Funding 2023

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.

At least 12 groups/strains of this have been identified, including A, B, C, X, Y,  and W.

In New Zealand over 2014–2017, meningococcal group B caused around two-thirds of meningococcal disease each year, group C almost one-third and groups Y or W the remaining few cases. In 2022, group B was the prominent type in NZ causing 80% of group-identified cases.


Bexsero, a multicomponent recombinant vaccine against meningococcal B disease is available in New Zealand and is now part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule (in addition to all other vaccines already on the schedule).


As part of this schedule change, the government is funding a catch-up schedule. See tables below for information on the schedule, catch up programme, and key definitions:


Scheduled programme: No end date Scheduled programme: No end date
– Children aged up to 12 months.


Administered as part of the Childhood Immunisation Programme at three months, five months, and a booster dose at 12 months.

– People aged 13-25 in their first year of specified close living situations.


Two doses funded, eight weeks apart

Catch-up programme: Ends 31 August 2025 Catch-up programme: Ends 28 February 2024
– Children aged 13months to 59months (4yrs 11months).


Up to three doses funded, depending on the age of the child when they have the first dose.

– All people aged 13-25 in specified close living situations (not just in their first year).


Two doses funded, eight weeks apart


Close Living Close living is defined in the pharmaceutical schedule as individuals who are currently living in or entering their first year of boarding school hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks, or prisons.
Catch-up programme age criteria As for all vaccines with an upper age limit – if the course is started before that age limit, then the funded course can be completed. For example, if a child has their first dose of Bexsero before their fifth birthday then they are eligible for the full course.



Additional Information

Other meningococcal vaccines that protect against groups A, C, W and Y are also available in New Zealand, but are not funded within the childhood immunisation schedule. For best protection against all meningococcal disease in New Zealand, separate vaccinations against group B disease and groups A, C, Y and W disease are recommended. Please have a read of the websites below and/or ask your GP or nurse for information if you wish to learn more about this.



Websites for Further Reading

Bexsero – Immunisation Advisory Centre (