WA again leads the way with meningococcal disease vaccinations
Babies and kids in Armadale may be eligible for free meningococcal vaccine
- WA again leads the nation to protect young children from meningococcal disease
- Meningococcal disease case numbers in WA doubled between 2017 and 2016
- Federal Government’s lack of action and inability to take responsibility is risking lives
Children aged one to four years in Armadale and around WA will have access to a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine throughout 2018. In an Australian-first, the McGowan Labor Government today announced the initiative to reduce incidences of meningococcal disease among this vulnerable age group.
Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, but sometimes life-threatening illness. Last year WA had 46 cases of meningococcal disease, six of which were fatal. The highest attack rate occurred among children younger than five years of age.
The free vaccine (called MenACWY) will be available during 2018, at a cost to the State Government of $5.7million. The State is currently funding two other meningococcal ACWY vaccination programs, one for teenagers in Year 10 in 2018 and one for Aboriginal communities within regional Western Australia.
More information on available vaccines visit http://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/immunisation
Comments by Armadale:
“Parents should contact their local GP or Child Health Clinic to schedule an appointment for their child to receive the vaccine.”
“I am pleased that kids in Armadale and around WA will have access to this potentially lifesaving vaccine and I encourage parents to take advantage of this free program.”
Comments by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“In 2017, six cases of meningococcal disease in Western Australia resulted in death. My heart goes out to the families of those affected. This disease can be prevented through vaccination.”
“Providing vaccines to protect public health is a Commonwealth responsibility yet they have remained idle on this issue for too long leaving the State Government to take control yet again on meningococcal vaccinations. The McGowan Labor Government is not prepared to put the lives of more Western Australians at risk while we wait for the Commonwealth to act.””
- MenACWY vaccination program will not prevent cases caused by meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) strains, so some MenB infections may still occur.
- MenB illness is currently less common in children than that caused by the four strains contained in the MenACWY vaccine.