Sudmalis welcomes Meningococcal vaccination

Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis has welcomed news that the Government will add a quad-strain vaccine to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) to protect children from the devastating consequences of Meningococcal.

“The new vaccine (Nimenrix) covers against A, C, W and Y strains (MenACWY) and will be added to the National Immunisation Program ahead of the next peak Meningococcal season which, based on previous years, is expected to be in the second half of the year,” said Mrs Sudmalis.

The announcement follows the decision by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to recommend the listing of Nimenrix for infants aged 12 months of age.

“Meningococcal is a rare but very serious infection that occurs when meningococcal bacteria from the throat or nose ‘invades’ the body. The consequences are devastating for individuals and for their families.”

“In recent years we have seen a rise in the number of invasive Meningococcal cases in Australia. In 2017, there were 382 cases reported nationally, compared with 252 cases in 2016 and 182 cases in 2015.”

“Deaths associated with Meningococcal have also risen, with 28 deaths in 2017, compared with 11 deaths in 2016 and 12 deaths in 2015.”

“Currently, infants aged 12 months are given a single-strain Meningococcal C vaccine.”

“I welcome the announcement from Health Minister Greg Hunt that in March 2018, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) will consider the listing of a MenACWY vaccine for adolescents.”

“Australia has a world-class national vaccination program and I urge all families in Gilmore to have their children vaccinated,” said Mrs Sudmalis.

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