Meningococcal: Vaccines Now Available

12th February 2018

GPs On Bayview are now stocked with Meningococcal vaccines for all children aged 12 months to four years old.


No out of pocket expense for your family as part of the State Government’s ACWY vaccination program.  


In an Australian first, the WA state government will provide free vaccination for meningococcal to all children aged 12 months to under 5 years.


The vaccination, which protects against the A, C, W and Y strains of the disease, usually costs between $70 and $100, but will be offered free.


This will complement the free vaccination to people aged between 15 and 19 years already offered by the state government. Vaccines for both age-groups can be accessed now from your local GP for no out of pocket expense.


Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, but sometimes life-threatening illness. At any one time, about 10 per cent of healthy people carry meningococcal bacteria harmlessly in their nose or throat, and do not become ill.


Rarely, however, a small proportion of people will develop serious invasive infections of the blood or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain. 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.


Western Australian health minister Roger Cook argues that the state’s best defence against the disease is prevention.


“In 2017, six cases of meningococcal disease in Western Australia resulted in death. My heart goes out to the families of those affected,” Mr Cook said.


“The disease can be prevented through vaccination.”


Meningococcal is a fast-acting disease that can quickly spread and potentially result in permanent disability or even death.


Some early symptoms of the disease include:

– Fever

– Headache

– Nausea/Vomiting

– Red or purple rashes/bruises on the skin

– Aching or sore muscles

– Painful or swollen joints


Meningococcal disease can occur at any age, but babies and children less than five years of age, young adults aged 15–24 years and people with immune system suppression are at greatest risk.


The disease is difficult to spread and is associated with regular close, prolonged and intimate contact. The bacteria are passed between people in the secretions or fluid from the back of the nose and throat.


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