The family of Chloe Boniface are gathering signatures for a petition urging the Government to fully fund all meningitis vaccines and provide more education about the disease.
Chloe died in November of meningitis after suffering what her mother, Tarsha Boniface, thought were normal flu symptoms - headache, a sore body and fatigue.
Meningitis was not something Tarsha was concerned about and now she and other family members are trying to raise awareness around the dangers of meningitis. Tarsha doesn't want anyone else to lose a family member because they weren't aware of the danger signs of meningitis.
A petition urging the Government to make a fully-funded Meningitis vaccine available to all New Zealanders was launched by Chloe's aunt, Nicole Moana, on Monday (December 10).
She wants all meningitis strains to be covered and for education around the disease to be prioritised - particularly for children and young people at kindergartens, schools and university because they are groups of people most at risk to catch the disease.
At the moment there is a free vaccination programme in Northland to halt the spread of a community outbreak of meningococcal W.
Children from nine months to five years of age and teens aged from 13 to 19 will be given the first available vaccines.
But Nicole Moana said outside of the Northland situation, the vaccine was too expensive.
"Every strain of Meningitis (ABCWY) should be made fully funded for all at-risk Kiwis," she said.
"Many cannot afford the current high price of these vaccines and that is simply not fair. This issue should be of high priority to prevent more loss of precious lives."
Moana said she knew of a friend who got their child vaccinated against all strains of meningitis and paid more than $400. The cost differs depending on the person being vaccinated.
Moana herself has a 2-year-old son who she is saving money up to get him vaccinated against the various meningitis strains.
On Tuesday the petition had 403 signatures. The petition will be open for a year before it is closed and presented to Parliament.