New Zealand will allow imported vaccine-injectable vaccines for meningitis B and cervical cancer to be used with a paid permit in its travel bookings system.
And the country will start allowing vaccinations against certain infections, such as hepatitis B, underwritten by private companies.
The incoming government issued its reversal of previous guidelines on Nov. 1, four months after the previous administration took a stand to give any visitor’s vaccines without a permit.
Immigration New Zealand originally set restrictions for imported vaccine-injectable vaccines after a French family brought meningitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to New Zealand last summer, before the vaccine had been validated by New Zealand regulatory authorities.
Meningitis B and HPV vaccines are sometimes used together and are widely used for meningitis in Europe and in developing countries.
Officials will aim to meet the requirements by allowing vaccine-injectable vaccinations of meningitis B and HPV vaccine from 2022, and permitting the import of hepatitis B vaccines as from 2021.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimated that the number of sexually transmitted HPV infections, and the number of people infected with hepatitis B, have increased over the past four decades.
“Our response to the Zika virus outbreak earlier this year has demonstrated the importance of protecting against serious disease outbreaks,” Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said in a statement.
“New Zealanders have the highest vaccination coverage in the world against polio, measles, tetanus, mumps and whooping cough. Every New Zealander aged one to 59 is eligible for the HPV vaccination, and vaccines will be mandatory for 12-year-olds from June 1, 2019.”
After a strong increase in cases of gonorrhea, Singapore has followed in New Zealand’s footsteps with similar plans to allow imported vaccines.
New Zealand holds the records for cervical cancer and hepatitis B diseases. New Zealanders have also been known to import infected travelers and diseases.
New Zealand traveler to Mexico was diagnosed with Zika virus virus, while several foreigners have been infected by travelers infected with the Zika virus in Miami and other places in the United States.