Amanda Young Foundation appeals for parents to take up free meningococcal vaccination

Carmen Shilson (president Canning Vale Playgroup) and children. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au   d486342
Carmen Shilson (president Canning Vale Playgroup) and children. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d486342

AMANDA Young Foundation founder Barry Young has urged parents with young children to take advantage of the free meningococcal vaccine before it is too late.

Parents have until the end of the year to access the free meningococcal ACWY vaccination program for all children aged from one to four-years-old inclusive.

The Department of Health have reported only half of eligible WA children have been vaccinated, prompting reminders for parents to ensure their children are immunised.

Mr Young created the Amanda Young Foundation to raise awareness of meningococcal following the death of his daughter from the disease.

He said the foundation’s Kiddy Canter program had visited over 600 schools and playgroups this year, including Canning Vale Playgroup, to teach kids the importance of hygiene and ensure parents were well educated on the matter.

“We’ve been telling kids about good bugs and bad bugs and how to protect themselves by washing hands, covering their mouths when they cough, not sharing food others have eaten and don’t share drinks,” he said.

Mr Young admitted he was concerned about the recent spike in meningococcal cases and said it was vital parents made sure their kids were immunised.

“There’s been seven cases in the last three weeks and we’re moving into worst time of the year, every year we know there’s a spike in the number of cases,” he said.

“Don’t procrastinate; vaccinate. Get in and do it, don’t think about it.”

To date, there have been 24 reported meningococcal cases in WA this year, following 40 reported cases in 2017. There were 23 reported cases in 2016.

Children under five, and 15-25-year-olds are the age groups at highest risk for meningococcal disease.