To continue to combat increasing cases of meningococcal disease, the Victorian Government has extended the offer of a free, time-limited vaccination program for young people aged 15 and 16 years old in Victoria.
The vaccine is safe and effective and free until 31 December 2018. Young people in Year 10 can get the free vaccine at secondary schools, local council immunisation sessions, or at the doctor. Those aged 15 or 16 and not in secondary school can get the vaccine at their GP or local council immunisation sessions .
Young people receiving the meningococcal vaccine will be protected against four strains of the disease in one vaccine, the A, C, W and Y strains.
Although uncommon, meningococcal disease can become life-threatening very quickly and 15 and 16 year olds are the most frequent carriers.
Getting the vaccine at school
To receive the vaccine at secondary school Year 10 students need consent from a parent or guardian. Parents/guardians must complete and return the consent card that eligible young people bring home from school.
Getting the vaccine outside of school
Eligible young people aged 15 or 16 can also get the free vaccine from their GP or from their local council.
The vaccine is free, however some GPs may charge a consultation fee. Some local councils hold free vaccination sessions that eligible young people can attend.
Young people under 18 who want the vaccine but are unable to obtain parent/guardian consent should have a discussion with their GP.
With the vaccine free for only a limited time, eligible young people are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the vaccination while it is available free.
To find out about free immunisation sessions, contact your local council. For more about the vaccine and the disease visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/menvax
Disclaimer: This article was provided by Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.