Parents of meningococcal victim Amanda Young pleased with increased vaccinations


St Mary's Anglican Girls' School Year 11 student Charlie Burton gets her jab from nurse Kelly O'Brien. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d473153
St Mary's Anglican Girls' School Year 11 student Charlie Burton gets her jab from nurse Kelly O'Brien. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d473153

BARRY and Lorraine Young have been campaigning for awareness about meningococcal since the sudden death of their 18-year-old daughter Amanda from the disease 20 years ago.

The couple, who set up the Amanda Young Foundation, were looking on as St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School students lined up for their meningococcal vaccinations, available free to 15-19 year olds until December.

“It is fantastic to see all the kids having their immunisations, it is what we have been pushing for,” Mr Young said. “It is music to our ears.

“According to the school nurse, she said she doesn’t know anyone at this school who hasn’t had the vaccinations, which is fantastic.

“Anyone who hasn’t done it yet, we really hope they won’t be complacent, that they will bite the bullet and get it done. It’s free, it doesn’t hurt, why wouldn’t you?”

Mr Young said it was an “opportune” time for the free vaccinations to be taken up with an increase of meningococcal cases in WA this year.

“With private schools like this, there is a captive audience but the problem is how to we get the message across to kids who leave school or are involved in trades and don’t have access,” he said.

The Amanda Young Foundation provides education packages, young leadership programs and hygiene programs to young children as well as fundraises for research into meningococcal.

Mrs Young said the foundation gave the couple a sense of purpose and drive to make a difference.

“The Foundation took our minds off feeling miserable, it gave us a reason to get up in the morning,” she said.

“We’ve had so many people send us letters and say if it wasn’t for Amanda’s story, I would not have been here. There’s no doubt that awareness does work, but one step better than that is prevention and getting the vaccine.”

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