Millions of dollars will be spent by the Federal Government vaccinating Australian teenagers against the potentially deadly ACWY meningococcal strain.
The Morrison Government will today launch a $52 million program providing free immunisations.
The combined vaccine for meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y will be available at no cost to Australians aged 14 to 19 from next April.
It is estimated more than one million will receive the vaccination over the next four years, shares 9 news.
There have been 382 reported cases of meningococcal in Australia in the last year, up from 252 the previous year.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the consequences of meningococcal were “devastating for individuals and their families”.
“I am absolutely committed to strengthening Australia’s world-class national vaccination program and urge all Australian parents to have their teenagers vaccinated,” Mr Hunt said.
Let’s hope we see the meningococcal B vaccine covered soon as well!
Meningococcal B disease remains the most common cause of IMD (invasive meningococcal disease) in children, adolescents and young adults.
Meningococcal W and Y disease occurs over a more diverse age range and may present with less typical clinical manifestations than disease due to other serogroups.
Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis). There are 13 serogroups. Meningococcal disease is most commonly caused by serogroups A, B, C, W and Y.
Septicaemia and/or meningitis are the most common clinical manifestations of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD).
The highest incidence of meningococcal disease is in children aged 2 years and adolescents aged 15–19 years. Carriage rates of the bacteria are highest in older adolescents and young adults.
The incidence of meningococcal disease fluctuates naturally over time, reports NCIRS.
Meningococcal B disease has been dominant until recently, but has been naturally declining in most states and territories, even in the absence of widespread vaccination against this serogroup.
The incidence of meningococcal W disease has increased since 2013. In 2017, serogroups B and W caused similar numbers of meningococcal disease cases in Australia (37.5% and 38.1%, respectively, of cases with an identified serogroup).
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