In 2017 the Victorian Secondary School Vaccine Program will offer free meningococcal ACWY vaccine to students in Years 10, 11 and 12. The vaccine provides protection against four strains of meningococcal disease (ACWY) and is administered as a single dose.
Adolescents are at increased risk of meningococcal disease. Although uncommon, it can become life-threatening, very quickly. There are different strains of meningococcal bacteria known by letters of the alphabet, including meningococcal A, B, C, W and Y. In recent years, the meningococcal W strain has increased across Australia, with Victoria experiencing 11 cases to date in 2017 and 48 cases in 2016, compared to 17 cases in 2015, four in 2014 and one in 2013. It is now the predominant strain in Victoria.
On Tuesday August 8th and Thursday August 10th, the City of Greater Bendigo will be at BSSC to provide this vaccination to all students.
There are also meningococcal vaccine sessions available through the City of Greater Bendigo during the July and September school holidays for Year 10, 11 and 12 students.
Students also have the opportunity to have their vaccination at Headspace this coming Monday.
Parents/carers of Year 11 and 12 students will have the information emailed early next term for the Meningococcal ACWY Secondary School Vaccine Program at BSSC. You need to read the information, complete and return the card regardless of whether your child is being vaccinated at school.
The City of Greater Bendigo immunisation service may contact you about the meningococcal ACWY vaccine program. Schools are authorised to provide basic parent/guardian contact details to local councils for this purpose. Please contact the college via firstname.lastname@example.org by August 8th 2017 if you do not want your contact details given to the City of Greater Bendigo immunisation service.
To learn more about meningococcal disease, the meningococcal ACWY vaccine and how you can prepare your child for vaccination, visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au or immunehero.health.vic.gov.au.
Please contact Viv Harris (Youth Health Nurse – Mondays and Tuesdays only) on 4408 6269 or Kylie Hand on 4408 6168 at BSSC or the City Of Greater Bendigo with any further queries.