Speak up if we are to get a free jab
ANYONE who has been affected by meningococcal B needs to tell their story to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee if they want the vaccine to be free.
The PBAC is deliberating — again — whether to add the meningococcal B vaccine Bexsero to the National Immunisation Program.
There are five prevalent strains of meningococcal in Australia with A, C, Y, and W strains covered by a free vaccine. Only the B strain, which currently accounts for the majority of cases in Australia, is not covered. The vaccine is only available on private script at a cost of between $120 and $150 a shot with a minimum of two shots required.
Some parents have argued that means only the wealthy can afford to protect their child, Eliza Ault-Connell from Meningococcal Australia said.
“We strongly encourage individuals and families who have been touched by meningococcal disease to make their voices heard,” she said.
“If you believe every Australian child should have fair and equal access to the B vaccine, we encourage you to make a submission.”
In July, 20-month-old Donald Peach died after contracting B-strain meningococcal disease.
The toddler was fully vaccinated on the government schedule but his parents, Amy and Donald Peach, of Quirindi, south of Tamworth, had no idea there was a vaccine against meningococcal B.
Mrs Peach said she is in the process of making a submission. “I don’t want anyone to go through what we did,” she said.
The PBAC will make its decision in November.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt has pledged to fasttrack Bexsero if it is approved for inclusion by the PBAC. TO MAKE A SUBMISSION GO TO: WWW1. HEALTH. GOV. AU