The Western Australian Government has announced free access to the Meningococcal polysaccharide (ACYW) vaccine for children aged between one and four years old.

The announcement, made by the Health Minister Roger Cook on January 23, is an Australian first, with WA being the only state in Australia to fully fund the vaccine, which covers each of the deadly A, C, Y and W strains.

Supporting the move is news that meningococcal disease cases reported across all strains increased by 25 per cent in the past year (337 cases), and were at the highest levels since 2005 when there were 390 cases reported Australia-wide.1

The new free vaccination is a significant step forward in protecting those who are most at risk of contracting the deadly disease.

While the National Immunisation Program covers free vaccinations against the meningococcal C strand for babies aged 12 months, the remaining strands aren’t currently covered by the program.

Meningococcal disease can strike people of all ages at any time, however those most at risk are babies and children up to the age of five and teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 24 years.

It has proven to be a very aggressive disease where, if not detected and treated early enough, can cause death within hours. This is why prevention through vaccination is critical so as to avoid such devastating tragedies playing out in our community.

Fullerton Health Medical Centres congratulates the WA Government for recognising the need for the free vaccination and looks forward to offering it to our patients.

 Fullerton Health Medical Centres will offer the free vaccination of the meningococcal polysaccharide (ACYW) vaccine for eligible children at 10 clinics located throughout WA.

 To book, contact your nearest Fullerton Health Medical Centre clinic in WA.

1Meningococcal Australia, November 17 2017

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