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Meningococcal W vaccine program- Free vaccinations end 30 April 2018

Tuesday, 6 March 2018 - 12:53pm

Meningococcal W

Meningococcal W has increased sharply across Australia over the last two years so in August 2017 we began providing free meningococcal W vaccine for teenagers aged 15 to 19 years.

The four-antigen vaccine provides protection against meningococcal ACWY strains. Only need a single dose is needed.

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious infection that can cause lifelong disability in up to 20 per cent of cases and death in five to 10 percent of cases.

Around 10 per cent of healthy individuals carry the meningococcal bacteria in their nose and throat.

Meningococcal bacteria is spread through secretions of the nose and throat, and older teenagers are particularly at risk of carrying and transmitting the bacteria to others.

The bacteria cannot survive outside the body and does not spread easily from shared drinks, food or cigarettes.

Many older teenagers will have received a meningococcal C vaccine before.  This is not a barrier to them having the ACWY vaccine.

Free vaccinations end 30 April 2018

Free vaccinations are available until 30 April 2018 for all students in Year 10, 11 and 12 in public, private and Catholic high schools and colleges who’ve not already had the meningococcal W vaccination.

For older teenagers who have left school the free vaccine is available from their GP or council clinic until 30 April 2018.

Anyone can pay for a ACWY vaccination at any time from their GP.

Call the Public Health Hotline – Tasmania on 1800 671 738 for more information.