What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is a rare but severe infection that occurs when Meningococcal bacteria invade the body from the throat or nose.
Meningococcal bacteria are carried in the nose and throat of healthy individuals and are spread through close prolonged contact. Most people with Meningococcal infection fully recover, but some people who survive can develop long term health complications including limb deformity, skin scarring, deafness and possible loss of brain function.
Why is Queensland Health offering this program?
During 2016 in Australia, there was a substantial rise in the number of Meningococcal W cases, with more cases of this strain reported than Meningococcal B cases.
As there is a safe and effective vaccine that covers strains A, C, W and Y, the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccination Program is being introduced. It is designed to protect young people and reduces risks for the community.
Why is the program targeting 15 to 19-year old’s?
Some of the highest rates of Meningococcal carriage occur among 15 to 19-year old’s and this age group can transmit the Meningococcal bacteria to people who are at increased risk of infection, including young children.
Who will be eligible?
Individuals in either of the following two groups are eligible
- Students in Year 10 in 2017
- Young people aged 15 to 19 years at time of vaccination.
Where can 15 to 19-year old’s get the vaccine?
15 to 19-year old’s will be able to get the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine either through the School Immunisation Program if they are in Year 10, or from their usual immunisation provider, such as their GP.
Where can I get more information?
- call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- Call Family Doctors Plus and make an appointment with your doctor