New free vaccination program
AUSTRALIAN teenagers aged 14 to 19 will be vaccinated for free against four strains of the deadly meningococcal disease under a new program announced on Tuesday.
More than one million teenagers will be eligible for the free vaccinations against the A, C, W and Y meningococcal strains over the next four years at a cost to the Federal Government of $52 million.
But a vaccine against the meningococcal B strain will not be funded after being rejected by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee three times.
“By law, the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine or vaccine without a positive recommendation from PBAC,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
In February 2017, the Palaszczuk Government announced free vaccinations against the meningococcal A, C, W and Y strains for 15 to 19-year-olds under a state-based program due to end this December.
Mr Hunt said the meningococcal A, C, W and Y meningococcal vaccine would be added to the National Immunisation Program from April next year.