South West teenagers aged 15 to 19 years are encouraged to get the free meningococcal ACWY vaccine to help protect them and others against this disease.
Last month, Minister for Health Roger Cook announced the three-year state-wide vaccination program, which targets teenagers who are most at risk of developing the disease.
In the South West, phase one starts in school term two in some secondary schools, Community Health Centres and all Aboriginal medical services for year 10, 11 and 12 students.
Phase two commences in school term three across WA for year 10, 11 and 12 students and TAFE and university students at Community Health Centres.
Phase three starts in school term four with GP surgery vaccination (subject to vaccine availability) for year 10, 11 and 12 students who missed their school vaccination in terms two or three.
Teenagers aged 15 to 19 who are not at school or university. Several vaccination clinics will also be held at some TAFE centres and the Bunbury ECU campus.
People turning 20 before early October 2017 should contact local Population Health Unit before their birthday to ask how they can receive their free vaccine.
In 2018 and 2019, the program will target incoming year 10 students only.
WA Country Health Service South West public health physician Dr Naru Pal said meningococcal disease is an uncommon, life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection of the blood or membranes that line the spinal cord and brain, and occasionally other sites.
“The vaccine will help protect teenagers against meningococcal, and minimise the spread of the disease,” Dr Pal said.
For more information, please contact the South West Population Unit on 97812350 or visit healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/J_M/Meningococcal-vaccine.