Meningococcal alert for Victoria as vaccination ramps up

“It’s really sad,” he said. “There are some grieving families here in Victoria.”

Clements and others said the family did not believe they needed additional vaccines beyond those funded through the National Immunization Program.

“They are being lured into a false sense of security because the government won’t pay,” he said. “This disease is one that every medical student is taught and every parent fears the worst.”

Meningococci are spread by close, prolonged, or intimate contact. Children under 2 years of age, adolescents and young adults ages 15-24, smokers, and people with respiratory tract infections such as influenza and COVID-19 are at increased risk.

Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, photosensitivity, vomiting, muscle pain, decreased consciousness, red or purple patches on the skin, and bruising. Emergency treatment is recommended for those who develop symptoms.

Bruce Langrant, director of the Australian Meningitis Centre, said meningococcal type B is now the dominant strain in Australia, thanks to widespread vaccination success against other previously common strains. rice field.

He said he hopes Victoria and other states will fund vaccinations so that all children are protected.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under the age of 2 and those at increased risk due to certain medical conditions are eligible for free meningococcal B vaccine under the National Immunization Programme.

Langlan said his group, which raises awareness of meningitis and meningococcal disease and provides support to families and survivors, was helped by pneumococcal meningitis after his daughter contracted the disease at 6 months of age. He said he had successfully advocated for the inclusion of the inflammatory vaccine in the program.

She has never walked or spoken, is severely deaf and intellectually impaired, and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.


“These are the results,” he said. Langlan said up to 40% of people infected with meningococcal type B developed long-term disability.

Between 1997 and 2016, 396 people died from meningococcal disease in Australia. Nearly a third of these were children under the age of five, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Jill Tomlinson, president of the Australian Medical Association Victoria, said it is very difficult to put a price on a human life but recognizes that not all treatments can be funded.

We have reached out to state governments for comment.

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