New free vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram

Central Telegraph - - NEWS -

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.

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