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Posted on 12 September, 2018

Free Meningococcal Vaccine for Darwin High Students

Free Meningococcal Vaccine for Darwin High Students

In Term 3 and 4 of 2018, free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine will be offered to all Darwin and Palmerston students in Years 9-12 at school. The incidence of the meningococcal W strain has risen in recent years, and this strain is easier to catch and causes severe disease.

Meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly in the back of the nose and throat by about 10% of the population at any one time

On rare occasions, the bacteria invade the bloodstream and cause serious infections

With appropriate treatment, most people with the disease recover, however about 8-10% will die and about 15% may experience complications such as hearing loss, gangrene requiring skin grafts, loss of limbs or kidney failure.

Adolescents aged 15-19 years are most likely to carry the bacteria and vaccination will protect them from disease but also reduce the spread of meningococcal disease in the community.

The vaccine provides protection against 4 strains of meningococcal disease (ACWY) and is administered as a single dose by school nurses.

Parents/guardians should read the parent information sheet, sign and return the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine Program consent form to the school. If a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child at school the vaccine is available at Community Care Centres - Casuarina and Palmerston, Danila Dilba or GP practices (although a consultation fee may apply

Meningococcal B strain is not covered by this vaccine. Please see your general practitioner to discuss Meningococcal B vaccine and to obtain a script.

To learn more about meningococcal disease, please visit https://www.nt.gov.au/wellbeing/health-conditions-treatments/bacterial/meningococcal-disease

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