Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has today announced that a new vaccine covering strains A, C, W and Y will be added to the immunisation schedule for children under 5 years of age. Currently children are vaccinated against the Meningicoccal C and can pay for a Meningiccal B immunisation.
Last year there were 383 cases of meningococcal in Australia. There were 28 deaths in 201, up from 11 deaths in 2016 and 12 in 2015.
With the W strain being considered responsible the increase in cases, so the new immunisation has the potential to have a big impact. It will be available prior to the peak season in the second half of the year
The vaccine is still to be considered for adolescents.
Our resident doctor, Melissa Homewood, talks all about the meningococcal vaccinations in her article.