Campaign for vaccine subsidy
BARRY Young says it is now more important than ever to educate the community about the symptoms of meningococcal B.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recently decided not to recommend the meningococcal B vaccine for inclusion on the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
If it were included on the NIP, the Government would have subsidised the vaccine, saving parents a bill of up to $500 to immunise their children.
Babies require four shots before the age of two with each shot costing $125.
This month a baby and a teenager were the latest meningococcal cases to be reported in WA, bringing the total number of cases in the State this year to 13.
Barry and Lorraine Young, from the Amanda Young Foundation (AYF), have campaigned for the vaccine to be included on the NIP for the past two years since it was licensed in Australia.
Mr Young said the PBAC’s decision meant it was almost impossible for a rare disease to be recommended for the NIP.
“It’s hard to convince the PBAC to invest in it, because it is costly and it is a rare disease,” he said
“The PBAC decision makes the AYF education and information program all that more important.”
Mr and Mrs Young helped to introduce the meningococcal C vaccine to Australia in 2003.
Their daughter Amanda died of meningococcal C in 1997 at the age of 18.
Nessie Srouji educates students on good hygiene practices at Smarties Child Care Centre, Gosnells.