Today the Prime Minister and Minister of Health announced a community meningococcal W vaccination programme to combat the community outbreak in Northland.
This comes following the seven cases in Northland this year, which includes three deaths. Four cases have also been reported in Northland in September and October.
The Northland District Health Board has ruled out any links between the cases, as they are from a range of ages, geographical areas and affected both Māori and NZ European.
The DHB Chief Executive, Dr Nick Chamberlain says, "The Ministry of Health advised us that vaccine stock is in short supply globally, but that they have been able to purchase 20,000 doses which will be coming to Northland.
"We are hopeful that more vaccine will become available so we can vaccinate the entire population under 20 years as we did in 2011 with the meningococcal C vaccination programme."
A free three-week community vaccination programme will be starting on Wednesday 5 December until Friday 21 December, seven days a week, at selected high schools and community centres across Northland.
Northland DHB will vaccinate Northland children aged from 9 months to under 5 years and those aged 13 to under 20 years at the time of presentation.
To be eligible the child will need to be a Northland resident.
"We are targeting those two population groups because research shows that vaccinating them will have the greatest impact on reducing meningococcal disease spreading in the entire community," says Chamberlain.
For more updates on clinic locations, check out www.northlanddhb.org.nz