New Meningococcal Vaccine To Be Rolled Out Across Northern Territory

New Meningococcal Vaccine To Be Rolled Out Across Northern Territory

Northern Territory Minister for Health Natasha Fyles

Improving Health Services As New Meningococcal Vaccine Is Rolled Out

Victor P Taffa

Northern Territory Government is improving health services with the roll out of the ACWY Meningococcal vaccine for 12 month old babies from 1 Dec 2017.

Health Minister, Natasha Fyles, said Territorians want and deserve high quality health services and that’s why the Territory government was providing the meningococcal ACWY vaccine free as part of the routine Northern Territory childhood schedule.

“We have listened to the community and experts and taken action to support territory families.” Minister Fyles said.

“Up until now, 12 month old babies have received a Meningococcal C vaccine. We’re replacing it with a vaccine that covers four strains of Meningococcal, including the W strain that has been the focus of an outbreak in Central Australia.”

Gunner Territory Government launched it’s ‘outbreak meningococcal ACWY vaccine program’ in October to vaccinate children aged 1-19 years in Alice Springs, Barkly and Katherine.

Minister Fyles said that program has been successful in delivering a decrease in cases meningococcal W disease across this region, but Meningococcal W remains the emergent strain in Australia and overseas.

“To prevent against further outbreaks all children across the Northern Territory will now receive meningococcal ACWY vaccine at 12 months.” Minster Fyles said.

“Meningococcal disease can be very severe. People infected with it can become extremely unwell within hours of the first symptoms appearing.”

“Meningococcal W disease can present more broadly than just as meningitis or blood poisoning with symptoms including pneumonia or septic joint presentations.”

Free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for 12 months olds will be available from general practitioners, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Clinics, primary health urban clinics and remote health clinics.

It is also important to ensure that babies and children are vaccinated on time for all their childhood vaccines which are given starting at 6 weeks, then at 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 4 years of age.