Almost 1 in 10 people carry the meningococcal bacteria in their nose and throat.
While the majority of people with the bacteria do not become ill, around 10% of them experience meningococcal disease which causes severe illness and can lead to permanent disability (e.g. deafness, intellectual disability, limb deformity, skin scarring) or in very rare cases death.
The number of cases of meningococcal (W and Y) disease is increasing in Australia.
Meningococcal bacteria are most commonly found in teenagers and young adults and are often passed from person to person through close contact.
Previous vaccination with the meningococcal C vaccine will not provide protection from the A, W and Y strains and therefore it is important that individuals are vaccinated with meningococcal ACWY to protect them against the extra strains.
There is a safe and effective vaccine that protects against the A, C, W and Y strains of meningococcal disease. The vaccine may cause mild reactions such as discomfort and/or redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a mild fever. Severe allergic reaction or other serious side effects are extremely rare.
Increasing the number of 15-19 year olds in our community who have been vaccinated for this disease will reduce the number of people who carry the bacteria in their nose and throat. This will protect young people immediately as well as the whole community over time.
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is available for free to all young people aged 15 to 19yrs at any Gold Coast Health community immunisation clinic or GP clinic. Your GP may charge a consultation fee.
For more information contact Gold Coast Immunisation Team via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 1800 940 750