HPV vaccine approved
Boys and young men will be able to access free cervical cancer vaccines.
Pharmac announced on July 28 changes to funded vaccines which also includes making the chickenpox vaccine funded for all children.
Director of Operations Sarah Fitt says the changes would benefit 100,000 people and were able to be made following negotiations with suppliers.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, commonly known as the gardasil vaccine, was previously funded for girls to prevent the HPV virus and cervical cancer.
As of January next year, it will be available for all children in the school vaccination programme, as well as adults until they are 26 years old.
The programme will also use a different vaccine which will cover more strains of the virus and children under 14 will only need two injections. For those aged 15 to 26, three doses would be required - but also funded.
‘‘Preventing illnesses through vaccinations is important to the health of all New Zealanders, as they don’t just help the people receiving them, but also their family and whanau, and wider society,’’ Fitt says.
The changes have created significant savings and widens access to people and decreases the overall cost to New Zealand, she says.