Cam­paign for vac­cine sub­sidy

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

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.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell d443220

Nessie Srouji ed­u­cates stu­dents on good hy­giene prac­tices at Smar­ties Child Care Cen­tre, Gos­nells.

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