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Australian children will be offered further meningococcal vaccines with protection against more strains added to the National Immunisation Program.

Health Minister Greg Hunt on Friday announced the new vaccine would cover against A, C, W and Y strains of the disease, shares yahoo news.

Currently, children are vaccinated against meningococcal C for free at 12 months, with protection against strain B available at a cost.

The new vaccine (Nimenrix) covers against A, C, W and Y strains (MenACWY) and will be added to the NIP ahead of the next peak meningococcal season which, based on previous years, is expected to be in the second half of the year.

The addition to the federally funded program follows a rise in meningococcal related deaths, with 28 in 2017, up from 11 deaths in 2016 and 12 deaths in 2015.

Mr Hunt said the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee would also consider the listing of the new vaccine for adolescents next month.

“This is about saving lives, it’s about protecting lives,” he told reporters.

More details to come as they are announced. Or visit health.com.au

Last week it was announced that Children in Western Australia would receive free meningococcal vaccines following six deaths from the disease in the last year. I am glad to see it will be a national schedule now.

Share your comments below.

  • Surely Disease Prevention is better than suffering patients having to be hospitalised and hope they recover without permanent disabliity or worse.

    Reply

  • It’s about time! Now they just need to add the strain B to the scheme.

    Reply

  • Good, a step in the right direction!

    Reply

  • Great news but should be available to all youngsters and their parents free of charge. So many teenagers contract the disease also.

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  • Good news at last for younger people – wonder if it will be available for older people who also can contract this horrible disease.

    Reply

  • This is wonderful news

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  • So that’s great news but what about the B strain??!!

    Reply

  • This is very good news indeed.

    Reply

  • Fantastic! We really need some good news sometimes. And the meningococcal vaccine is so important.

    Reply

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