With New Zealand just about to add another vaccine to its childhood immunisation schedule Nursing Review looks back at other major milestones in the 75 years or so since the first routine vaccinations were offered to Kiwi children.
HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD IMMUNISATION SCHEDULE*
1941 Diphtheria is offered routinely to children aged under seven by the School Medical Service and the Plunket Society (first offered to selected schools and orphanages in the 1920s).
1948 BCG (Tuberculosis) immunisation is introduced initially for nurses then later for all adolescents. Universal screening and vaccination of 13-year-olds stops in the South Island in 1963, is phased out in the North Island in the 1980s, and ceases in 1990.
1956 Polio vaccine became available. First offered only to 8-and-9-year-olds then widened. Delivered by Department of Health up to 1967.
1960 Routine childhood immunisation begins with Diphtheria, tetanus and whole cell pertussis (DTwP) being delivered by general practices.
1969 Measles introduced to national immunisation schedule for children aged 10 months to 5 years who had not had measles.
1970 Rubella introduced for children aged four and school-based programme for children aged 5–9 years.
1988 Hepatitis B added to schedule
1990 Mumps immunisation added to schedule with introduction of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine at 12–15 months.
1994 Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) added.
2004 Meningococcal B (MeNZB) used as epidemic control vaccine between 2004 to 2008.
2008 Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination offered to girls at age 12 and Pneumococcal vaccines added to schedule.
2014 Rotavirus vaccine introduced to schedule.
2017 Chickenpox (varicella) added to schedule (from July) and HPV vaccination for boys.