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The federal government is being accused of failing families by not providing free meningococcal vaccines to children under five.

A spike in deaths is forcing worried Western Australian parents to pay for the jab if they want to protect their babies, reports 7 news.

The state government has paid for a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for 17 to 19 year olds.

But the vaccine, which prevents four strains of the killer disease, is not free for children under five and costs over a $100 a shot.

“The federal government needs to step up and make the meningococcal ACWY vaccine available and accessible,” Meningitis Centre Australia board member Desiree Schofield said.

The Federal Health Minister’s office says he’s working on new meningococcal vaccine listings, but there’s no indication of when that might happen.

In 2017 there were 23 cases of the W strain of Meningococcal in Western Australia alone, killing five people. The strain killed 10 people across the country.

I think this needs to be made a priority don’t you?

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  • I’m pretty sure it is subsidised in South Australia. My daughter has had her under 2 year old vaccinated against meningococcal

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  • Yes, this totally should be subsided by the government.

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  • absolutely should be a priority, health care and education should always be a high priority

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  • I would have thought children under 5 would have been a great way to start along with 17-19 year old’s. It appears the young seem to get it as often if not more often but certainly with terrible side effects than the older children do.

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  • It’s not an expensive vaccination, but it should be added to the list of vaccines given to babies

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  • Children under 5 can probably pick up the disease as easily as an older child including those who go to childcare, preschool or go out in public a lot, as do their parents – shopping, working, being out and about.

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  • A agree. If you’re going to get immunised against meningococcal you need to have all the strains covered

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  • Yep, that would be good.

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  • I agree. This is another immunisation that should be subsidised by the government.

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  • Absolutely. It should be subsided by the Government. Too risky and scary at the moment!!

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  • It should have been made available for free as soon as it became available. Its gone past being a priority. Its possibly responsible for the actual death of five people.

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