Free jabs fin­ish­ing

Canning Times - - NEWS - d486342

Par­ents are be­ing urged to take ad­van­tage of free vac­ci­na­tions against meningo­coc­cal while they still can.

AMANDA Young Foun­da­tion founder Barry Young has urged par­ents with young chil­dren to take ad­van­tage of the free meningo­coc­cal vac­cine be­fore it is too late.

Par­ents have un­til the end of the year to ac­cess the free meningo­coc­cal ACWY vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram for all chil­dren aged from one to four years old in­clu­sive.

The De­part­ment of Health has re­ported only half of el­i­gi­ble WA chil­dren have been vac­ci­nated, prompt­ing re­minders for par­ents to en­sure their chil­dren are im­mu­nised.

Mr Young cre­ated the Amanda Young Foun­da­tion to raise aware­ness of meningo­coc­cal af­ter the death of his daugh­ter from the dis­ease.

He said the foun­da­tion’s Kiddy Can­ter pro­gram had vis­ited more than 600 schools and play­groups this year, in­clud­ing Can­ning Vale Playgroup, to teach chil­dren the im­por­tance of hy­giene and en­sure par­ents were well ed­u­cated on the mat­ter.

“We’ve been telling kids about good bugs and bad bugs and how to pro­tect them­selves by wash­ing hands, cov­er­ing their mouths when they cough, not shar­ing food oth­ers have eaten and don’t share drinks,” he said.

Mr Young ad­mit­ted he was con­cerned about the re­cent spike in meningo­coc­cal cases and said it was vi­tal par­ents made sure their kids were im­mu­nised.

“There’s been seven cases in the last three weeks and we’re mov­ing into the worst time of the year,” he said.

“Don’t pro­cras­ti­nate; vac­ci­nate. Get in and do it, don’t think about it.”

To date there have been 24 re­ported meningo­coc­cal cases in WA this year, fol­low­ing 40 re­ported cases in 2017.

There were 23 re­ported cases in 2016.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Can­ning Vale Playgroup pres­i­dent Car­men Shil­son reads to a group of young­sters.

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