To be able to fund catch-ups for the over age 18s is reassuring as we know those people who have had a primary course
of tetanus have good protection. I never quite understood why the age 45 and 65 tetanus booster vaccine is funded but
not the administration, i.e. no fee is claimable for the nurse's time.
Finally I wish it were true that (as per page 37) females age 20 could be caught up for HPV. I think the funding rules
are that they must have commenced dose one before their 20th birthday.
It is correct that certain vaccinations are available, fully funded, for adults who have never had a course of vaccinations,
and have not been exposed to the condition being vaccinated against. There are three vaccines in this category that
are available to anyone, at any age: Td (tetanus/diphtheria), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and IPV (polio). The
funding includes the Immunisation Benefit Subsidy to cover the cost of delivery. The funding for the age 45 and 65 year
Td booster is different in that, unlike other vaccines, the dose is funded, but the cost of administration (Immunisation
Benefit Subsidy) is not. The reason for this is largely historical. So in summary, if the Td is being given as a primary
course, not a booster dose, then the Immunisation Benefit Subsidy can be claimed.
Some other vaccinations are funded for adults in certain scenarios, such as people pre- or post splenectomy (HiB,
Meningococcal A, C, Y and W135 and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines), people who are household or sexual contacts
of Hepatitis B carriers and Tdap vaccine for women who are pregnant. In addition, influenza vaccination is funded for
people aged over 65 years, women who are pregnant and those with a chronic condition outlined within the New Zealand
Immunisation Handbook (although funding rules are subject to change).
Other vaccines that may be useful to adults and should be considered, but are not funded, include varicella for those
without a history of chicken pox and pneumococcal vaccines for those with chronic chest conditions.
Women have until their 20th birthday to begin the HPV immunisation programme. This means that the first dose must
be delivered prior to their twentieth birthday, but subsequent doses may be given beyond this age.
Recommended vaccinations for staff working in primary care
In Table 1 in the article “Recommended
vaccinations for staff working in primary care” (BPJ 49; Dec, 2012), some of the table notations were incorrectly
labelled. This inadvertently occurred when reproducing the table. The notations have now been corrected in the online
version of this article, available from: www.bpac.org.nz
The original table is also available from: www.immune.org.nz