People aged 15 to 19 years who missed immunisation for Men ACWY at school can receive a state-funded immunisation through their GP. This was due to expire on 31 December 2018 but the great news is that the Government has extended the program. Book an appointment to see a doctor to arrange your immunisation to access this recommended immunisation.
Why should I protect myself?
The short answer is that meningitis is a very serious disease which requires early treatment to reduce the risks of death or permanent disability. Although it is a preventable condition you may not be fully immunised.
There are five different sub-types of meningococcal bacteria (Men A, C, W, Y and MenB). The four most common sub-types in Australia are B, C, W and Y. There have been recent outbreaks of Meningococcal W (MenW) in across Australia including Queensland. There have been 49 cases of meningitis so far in Queensland this year, which is above average.
In Queensland the “baby needles” have offered MenC protection for some years, and recent changes mean that babies now receive the MenACWY immunisation at 12 months of age. However, MenB is not given routinely.
This means there is still a large number of the population who are vulnerable to Meningococcal B and Meningococcal AWY.
Who is at risk?
People are at increased risk of catching meningitis when they are in close contact with others for example:
- young adults mixing socially or at university,
- people attending mass gatherings such as music festivals or the Hajj,
- overseas travellers.
Watch this excellent video from the Meningitis Centre Australia to learn more about how meningitis is spread.
To protect against meningitis in Queensland it is strongly recommended:
- Healthy adolescents aged 15–19 years receive;
- a single dose of MenACWY vaccine and
- 2 doses of MenB vaccine.
- Children and any person who wants to protect themselves against invasive meningococcal disease can receive
- MenACWY and MenB vaccines from as early as 6 weeks of age.
How to protect your self:
There is a school-based program for adolescents in Year 10 aged 14–16 to receive Men ACWY, but not MenB.
People aged 15 to 19 years who missed immunisation for MenACWY at school can receive a state-funded immunisation through their GP. Book an appointment to see a doctor to arrange your immunisation. If you received the MenACWY needle at school you do not need a second dose, but may still need the MenB.
If you are 20 years or older it is still recommended that you protect your self against meningitis. Your GP can help you obtain self-funded immunisations for Men B and Men ACWY.
We have limited stock of the government-provided MenACWY here at Reydon Street Medical Centre. Book an appointment if you wish to arrange immunisation or to discuss your health further.
Please note the MenB immunisation is not part of the state-funded immunisation schedule, and so is a self-funded extra for all Queenslanders at present.
For more information see: