Pharmac secures supply of vaccines for New Zealanders

Media release Medicines

Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac has confirmed supply agreements for a range of funded vaccines including those that protect against influenza and meningococcal disease. This follows a request for proposals (RFP) competitive process.

“We are pleased to confirm the continued supply of 13 currently funded brands of vaccines and changes to three brands” says Pharmac’s Acting Director of Pharmaceuticals, Geraldine MacGibbon.

“Most of the childhood vaccine brands will remain the same. The brand of influenza vaccine will change to a previously funded brand, Influvac Tetra, which can be used from six months of age, so there is no need continue having a separate vaccine available for eligible young children.”

Changes to the influenza vaccine brand will be in effect from 1 February 2024 and supply will continue until 31 December 2025. Agreements for other vaccine brands will roll out from 1 July 2024 until 30 June 2027.

“We are also changing one type of the meningococcal vaccine for high-risk infants to provide broader protection against more types of meningococcal disease, which is a positive outcome of this process.”

"We heard through consultation feedback that there was strong support for widened access to the meningococcal and influenza vaccines and that people would like us to fund different types of influenza vaccine for people 65 years of age and over.  We are not currently able progress changes due to the relative priority of these treatments compared to others we are currently considering funding, and the availability of funds in our fixed budget.

“We would love to be able to fund every medicine for every condition, but we have to make difficult decisions about which treatments will deliver the best health outcomes for New Zealanders from the budget we have available.”

The new supply agreements do not include COVID vaccines, which currently come under separate agreements.