A new vaccine to treat meningococcal has been approved by the Federal Government and will be freely available to Australian teenagers aged 14 to 19, including those living in the O’Connor electorate.
Federal member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said more than one million teenagers should receive the vaccine over the next four years.
“It will be added to the National Immunisation Program from April 2019 and provided to students aged 14 to 16 years under a school-based program,” Mr Wilson said.
“Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years of age, who have not already received the vaccine in school, will be able to receive the vaccine through an ongoing GP based catch-up program.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt said meningococcal was a rare but serious infection.
“Deaths associated with meningococcal disease have also risen, with 28 deaths in 2017, compared with 11 deaths in 2016 and 12 deaths in 2015.
“I am absolutely committed to strengthening Australia’s world-class national vaccination program and urge all Australian parents to have their teenagers vaccinated.” The announcement has come after the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the meningococcal A, C, W and Y vaccine for adolescents.
O'Connor's Federal member Rick Wilson with Health Minister Greg Hunt.