Half un­der-5s not vac­ci­nated for meningo­coc­cal

Melville Times - - NEWS -

ONLY half of WA chil­dren un­der the age of five have been vac­ci­nated against the deadly meningo­coc­cal in­fec­tion, prompt­ing a re­minder from the Health Depart­ment for par­ents to get their kids vac­ci­nated be­fore the free pro­gram fin­ishes at the end of this year.

The re­minder comes af­ter 12 chil­dren in that age group were hos­pi­talised with meningo­coc­cal dis­ease.

An in­crease in meningo­coc­cal in­fec­tions in Western Aus­tralia in 2016 and 2017 prompted the State Gov­ern­ment to an­nounce a free meningo­coc­cal ACWY vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram for all chil­dren aged from 1-4 years old in­clu­sive.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment then be­gan of­fer­ing the ACWY meningo­coc­cal vac­cine to one-yearolds un­der the Na­tional Im­mu­ni­sa­tion Pro­gram.

Chil­dren un­der five, and 15 to 25-year-olds are the age groups at high­est risk for meningo­coc­cal dis­ease.

The Health Depart­ment will be send­ing out re­minders to par­ents who have not yet had their chil­dren vac­ci­nated to en­sure their chil­dren do not miss out.

More than 70,000 chil­dren in the com­mu­nity re­main un­pro­tected.

Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook said the State’s catch-up pro­gram ended on De­cem­ber 31, 2018.

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