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.

*Source: Immunisation Handbook 2014 (2nd edition April 2016)


  1. I was born in 1967 and remember getting vaccines at tokoroa intermediate round 1977-78 one in the left too arm 6 neddles in one on the forearm and polio d which we drank was this DTP?

  2. The one with the six needles was the TB injection (1970/71) I remember getting that in high school.
    At the age of five in 1962 I had a polio sip on a sugar cube.

  3. The “six needles” was the Mantoux test, given to determine TB status, prior to having the TB vaccine which was given (one needle) in the upper arm.


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