Sign up for vaccine trial

L-R Amanda Schlaepfer (12) with brother Patrick Schlaepfer (14) and Asscoicate Prof Peter Richmond
L-R Amanda Schlaepfer (12) with brother Patrick Schlaepfer (14) and Asscoicate Prof Peter Richmond

The Telethon Institute’s Vaccine Trials Group is looking for people aged between 10 and 25 to participate in a trial of a meningococcal B disease (MBD) vaccination.

MBD is a severe infection which can result in death within hours, due to blood poisoning or meningitis.

While there are vaccines to protect against some forms of meningococcal disease, there is nothing to protect against this one, which is responsible about 90 per cent of cases Australia-wide.

Group doctor Peter Richmond said the disease was extremely serious.

‘While it is rare, affecting about 200 to 300 people a year, if it very difficult to recognise early, even for doctors,’ he said.

‘Often once it’s identified, it’s too late to treat it and one in 10 people diagnosed die from it.

‘That’s why we say prevention is better than cure, so we hope to get results from this trial so we can offer the vaccination across the country.’

Children and young adults are most at risk from the disease.

Many people have the bacteria in their nose or throat without developing an illness, but they can transfer to other people through breathing or coughing.

Dr Richmond said the hospital needed at least 30 people for the trial.

‘The vaccine has been tested and it’s been proven it’s safe and is tolerated by people,’ he said.

‘Before we license it for everyone, we need to test it in thousands of people to be sure there are no rare side-effects.’

To get involved, call 9340 8542 or email menb@ichr.uwa.edu.au