There is some alarm in the community with regard to reported cases of meningococcal disease and confusion about the availability of vaccines to prevent this disease. There are several sub types of the bacteria Meningococcus and unfortunately there is no single vaccine to cover them all. Meningococcal infection is a rapid developing and a life threatening disease causing meningitis and an overwhelming septicaemia (infection of the blood).

The current childhood immunisation scheme delivers a vaccine against Meningococcal C at 12 months of age together with other routine vaccines. This has been the case for many years.

The WA Health Department has recently started to provide the second type of Meningococcal vaccine against strains ACWY. This is to combat the 2 strains that are currently causing concern. Initially this has been through the schools for teens between the ages of 15 to 19 inclusive. In addition all medical practices have been provided with stock to immunise these same age groups if they missed out on the school program or have now left school. So if you are eligible or have a child who is in these age groups we urge you strongly to make an appointment for this free vaccine.

The Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is still indicated for other children (and adults) as well but is currently not free. It can be used down to the age of 2 months of age and we also suggest parents come in to discuss the need for this with their doctor.

The third vaccine is against Meningococcal B virus (trade name Bexsero) which is the commonest form of meningococcal disease in Australia. Again it is not free and can be used in everyone down to the age of 2 months. If you are considering the ACWY vaccine then the Meningococcal vaccine should also be discussed with your doctor.

So if you are between the ages of 15-19 years inclusive then make an appointment to see us for your free vaccine.  We also strongly believe that parents should also discuss the need for a full vaccination program for their children against all types of Meningococcal disease.