New Zealand's alarming rise of meningococcal disease is the focus of a new TV campaign being launched today featuring survivors of the deadly disease from around the world.

Our country has become one of the first countries to take part in a awareness campaign, which was created by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

It comes as Pharmac last week announced that the meningococcal ACWY vaccine will be made available free to those aged 13 to 25 in close living situations like boarding schools, hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks and prisons.

This year alone, 126 Kiwis have contracted the disease - that's roughly three people every week. Of that, eight people have died.


In the campaign video - which will run on TV and social media for the next month - a toddler, young girl and teenager boy who have each been infected with a different strain of meningococcal disease appear on screen.

The video ends with a startling message: "Ask your doctor or nurse if your child is missing protection from meningococcal disease."