Mayor invites local teens to get free vaccine

Hume City Council is encouraging residents aged 15 to 19 to get the free time-limited, meningococcal vaccine.
 
Hume City Council has been rolling out the free vaccine through all secondary schools in Hume, as part of a program the Victorian Government* has introduced to combat a recent rise in cases of deadly ‘W’ strain of meningococcal disease.
 
Hume Mayor, Councillor Drew Jessop, said that more than 7,249 high students in Hume would be offered the free vaccine at school.
 
The Council is also offering vaccinations for young people aged 15-19 through local community immunisation sessions.
 
“The more young people who take up the offer to protect themselves, the more effectively we will be able to halt the spread of this very serious disease,” Cr Jessop said.
 
“Those eligible young people who have left school or missed the vaccine when it was offered at their school can still get the vaccine free by attending the Council immunisation session.”
 
In Victoria, there were 48 cases of the previously rare ‘W’ strain in 2016, up from just one in 2013. Cases of the ’Y’ strain are also increasing. Young people receiving the meningococcal vaccine will be protected against the ‘W’ strain of the disease, as well as three other strains (‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘Y’).
 
The most common age group known to carry meningococcal is between 15 to 19 year olds.
 
Although uncommon, meningococcal disease can become life-threatening very quickly. After initial flu-like symptoms, which can include sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, nausea vomiting or mental confusion, a rash of red or purple pinprick spots or larger bruises can appear.
 
If somebody close to you experiences these signs and symptoms, and seems sicker than you would expect with a normal infection, seek medical help immediately.
 
The vaccine is safe and effective and free until 31 December 2017 at scheduled school vaccination days, council immunisation sessions or from the GP.
 
For health advice call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emergency.
 
For more information about local immunisation and the free vaccine program go to www.hume.vic.gov.au/vaccine
 
*The number of cases of invasive meningococcal disease W strain has been increasing across most jurisdictions in Australia since 2013. Due to this, the Commonwealth Department of Health, in collaboration with the states and territories, is closely monitoring the incidence of MenW in Australia in accordance with the Emergency Response Plan for Communicable Disease Incidents of National Significance (CDPlan).

Posted on 10:00 AM, 14 August 2017


Updated : 4:08 PM, 14 August 2017

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