Thousands of meningococcal vaccine doses wasted

Almost 8000 doses of a meningococcal vaccine are left over from an emergency vaccination campaign in Northland.

The state drug-buyer Pharmac said the district health board could have the surplus if it is still wanted; otherwise, up to $50,000 worth of vaccine will be wasted.

Northland's health authorities rolled out the vaccination campaign in December amid rising cases of the meningococcal-W disease.

Free jabs were available for those aged under 5 and teenagers; leaving out those in between.

Pharmac bought 25,640 from Sanofi, and National said it should have bought more to cover all children.

But relatively low participation means 8000 doses remain unused.

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