AMANDA Young Foundation founder Barry Young has praised the State Government’s free vaccination initiative to tackle meningococcal.
The anti-meningococcal campaigner congratulated the government for giving children aged between one and four free access to an ACWY vaccine.
Mr Young said the initiative was “extremely important” after 46 reported cases and six deaths from the disease in WA last year.
“2017 was the worst year we’ve had with meningococcal cases for about 15 years. The problem we’ve got is there’s a couple of strains which have lobbed on our doorstep,” he said.
“The W and the Y strain are particular aggressive and the best way to combat it is vaccination.
“These strains are antibiotic resistant, which makes them all that more dangerous.”
Mr Young said children aged between one and five were one of the most at-risk demographics of contracting meningococcal.
“There’s three main groups, looking at the stats they virtually fall into three categories,” he said.
“About a third of them are under five years of age, there’s another third which fall into the late teens, early 20s and the other third is the seniors.”
Southern River MP Terry Healy urged parents to get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible.
“My child, and every child in the community deserves to be protected from this disease,” he said.
The State Government is currently funding two other meningococcal ACWY vaccination programs, one for teenagers in Year 10 this year and another for Aboriginal communities within regional Western Australia.
More information on all available vaccines is online at http://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/immunisation.