Meningococcal infection (or meningococcal disease) is caused by a bacteria called meningococcus. There are 13 strains of meningococcus and five of these can be prevented by vaccines (A, B, C, W and Y strains). Meningococcal infection is uncommon, and not easily spread, but it can cause serious complications, including:
- Meningitis – an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord
- Septicaemia – an infection of the blood
- Infections in other parts of the body, such as the joints.
Meningococcal infections can start suddenly and become extremely serious very quickly. They can cause life-long disabilities, or death in about one in 10 people affected.
Immunisation against meningococcal bacteria is the best protection against meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is provided as a single dose, free through the National Immunisation Program for:
- Children at 12 months of age
- Adolescents aged approximately 14 – 16 years through school based immunisation programs and those aged 15-19 as part of an ongoing catch up program
- People with particular medical risk conditions
Meningococcal B (Bexsero)
From 1 July 2020, Moira Shire Council immunisation sessions can provide Meningococcal B vaccine at a cost of $155 per dose without a prescription. The vaccine can be given to babies from 6 weeks of age. The number of doses required and when they should be given differs by age.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under 2 years are funded to receive this vaccine through the National Immunisation Program.
Important - Please Read
Meningococcal serogroup B vaccine commonly causes fever in children younger than two years of age and skin reactions at the injection site.
Paracetamol is recommended 30 minutes before, or as soon as practicable after meningococcal B vaccine administration, for children younger than two years of age. Two further doses of paracetamol are reccomened six hours apart, regardless of whether fever is present.
IMPORTANT that parents purchase paracetamol prior to receiving meningococcal immunisation
For further information on meningococcal disease and immunisation: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-services/meningococcal-immunisation-service-0
For any inquires or to schedule an appointment please contact council immunisation team on 5871 9222.