Should the meningococcal vaccine be free?

NORTHERN Rivers Vaccination Supporters have come out in support of a petition to put two meningococcal/meningitis vaccines on the national immunisation program.

The group's spokeswoman, Alison Gaylard, said she knew of families who had suffered from the disease.

"I find it one of the scariest diseases (that can be) prevented by vaccines, because it happens so quickly," she said.

"I have been in contact with parents of children who have suffered with the effects.

"Both have survived, but one with a limb amputation. Now this family is adapting to life with a toddler (amputee).

"The other child retained their limbs, but has had to have numerous skin grafts - which are very painful and traumatic, not just for the child, but the parents as well, having to go through that."

A petition, started by the Meningitis Centre Australia, is rallying to get the ACWY135Y and the Meningococcal B vaccines on the program schedule and funded by Medicare.

Ms Gaylard said it was important to make the vaccines financially available to all Australians.

With multiple doses required per child for the Meningococcal B vaccine, it can be costly for families.

Should the Meningococcal B and ACWY135Y vaccines be put on the National Vaccination Program?

This poll ended on 24 November 2016.

Current Results

Yes

80%

No

20%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The UK has recently taken up the vaccine on their national schedule, Ms Gaylard said, and had seen the benefits of doing so, with less outbreaks of disease.

She said that while it might be costly to the government to make these vaccines available on schedule, it would be cheaper in the long run.

"If we see ... the costs of caring for an individual child suffering, over the costs of the vaccines, it makes sense to fund the vaccines," she said.

There are 13 main strains of Neisseria meningitides (meningococcal), with 90% of all disease worldwide as result of either A, B, C, W135 and Y.

In Australia the most common types are B and C.

The petition can be found at http://bit.ly/2eWGL97

 


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