Wellington Shire teenagers, aged 15 to 19, are being offered a free Meningococcal vaccine this year to target the rise in the W strain of the disease.
The vaccine program has been provided by the Victorian Government and will be administered by Wellington Shire Council through the secondary school immunisation process.
The Victorian Government has introduced a free, time-limited vaccine program for young people in years 10, 11 and 12, or of equivalent age if not undertaking secondary studies.
The free vaccine is available as of, July 1 until 31 December 2017.
A general practitioner or Council’s immunisation sessions can also assist to administer the free Meningococcal vaccine outside of school processes.
Wellington Shire Council General Manager Development John Websdale says, “The Victorian Government is working towards ensuring that adolescents, the group most at-risk of catching this disease, are provided with a vaccine to protect them against becoming infected.
Although uncommon, it can become life-threatening, very quickly.”
“Accepting this safe and effective vaccination will help protect young people and others around them, ultimately assisting with the reduction of Meningococcal cases.”
There are different strains of meningococcal bacteria, known by letters of the alphabet, including Meningococcal A, B, C, W and Y. The free vaccination program aims to protect teenagers from the W, A, C and Y strain of the deadly meningococcal disease, particularly due to the predominant strain that has presented in Victoria and has increased significantly since 2014.
To find out when and where immunisations sessions are held, contact Council on 1300 366 244 or visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/Immunisation2017.
To learn more about the meningococcal disease, the meningococcal vaccine and how you can prepare your child for vaccination, visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au or www.immunehero.health.vic.gov.au.