Health officials are scrapping the mass vaccination of New Zealanders against the deadly meningococcal b disease.
The campaign cost $220 million and resulted in more than a
million people being vaccinated.
Charlotte Cleverly-Bisman contracted meningococcal b just before the vaccine was introduced. She survived but suffered multiple amputations and her story has been used to raise awareness.
But health officials now claim they have broken the back of the deadly epidemic.
"We are seeing a decline in what could have been a 30-year epidemic and we don't need to keep that mass immunisation campaign going," says Dr Fran McGrath of the Health Ministry.
It is claimed the epidemic peaked seven years ago with 370 cases of the b strain. The figures had already halved before the vaccine was introduced in 2004.
And since then, it has dropped dramatically to just 47 cases last year.
"Their own evidence released today shows quite clearly that the vaccine had no impact at all," says Ron Law, a risk and policy analyst.
"And in fact if you look at the deaths which they haven't released, the deaths from meningococcal remain static ever since the campaign was introduced."
McGrath says the ministry could have waited but didn't.
"But the decision was made to be decisive and to intervene to cut short this epidemic," she says.
Others say the raw data should be independently audited.
"It was really an experiment and we need therefore to be quite sure has it worked or hasn't it? And until we get that official data, we just don't know," says Sue Kedgley, Green Party health spokeswoman.
Forty six people have got the disease despite being fully immunised. One child died.
"Two hundred and, well they say 250 million, to save one to two lives - it's a major policy blunder," says Law.
Health officials say we must continue to be vigilant.
"Meningococcal continues to exist in our community. This isn't the only bacteria that causes it so we do have to stay alert to it," says McGrath.
And pre-schoolers who have already started their course of shots should still complete it.
Children under five who have only been given one dose of the vaccine by June 1 will be able to have their boosters provided they have them by December 31 .