FREE SHOTS PROTECT AGAINST INFECTION
STUDENTS at the Edith Cowan University South West campus aged 18 to 19 years were given access to free meningococcal vaccinations last week as part of a Statewide program to vaccinate all 15 to 19-year-olds this year.
The vaccine contains protection against the ACWY strains of meningococcal infection.
There have been increasing numbers of meningococcal infections across WA over the past 18 months.
In 2017, WA has recorded 26 confirmed cases and the South West has had one case in a young baby. WA Country Health Service regional immunisation coordinator Nancy Birch said the number of confirmed cases of the W and Y strain had risen significantly in 18 months.
“These newer strains are proving to be harder to treat and can progress more quickly than other forms of meningococcal infection,” she said.
“This means they are much more likely to cause serious complications and even death.”
“The best way to prevent these diseases is through vaccination. The free vaccination offered to 15 to 19-year-olds will cease at end of December 2017 so it’s really important this age group is vaccinated now.”
Students in Year 10 in 2018 and 2019 will be offered vaccination at school in 2018 and 2019.
People from other age groups can access the vaccine by seeing a doctor for a prescription.
Ms Birch and her team also visited the South Regional TAFE Bunbury campus to administer vaccinations on Wednesday.
For inquiries about meningococcal, contact your doctor or community health centre.
Public health nurse Debbie Gualter administers university student Alish Jury with a free meningococcal vaccine.