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Free meningococcal vaccines for year 10 students

Published on 07 December 2018

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Yarra Ranges residents aged 15-16 are encouraged to make the most of free meningococcal vaccinations, available in December and again from April 2019.

Young people and their parents can book in at yarraranges.vic.gov.au/immunisation for Council's free immunisation sessions held around the municipality until 19 December or contact their GP clinic.

Meningococcal is an uncommon but very serious infection, where bacteria enter the bloodstream and can cause septicaemia, which is an infection of the blood, or meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membrane covering the brain.

Upper Yarra Secondary Principal, Scott Tully, said that being immunised against meningococcal would help to protect others, who are unable to get vaccinations for medical reasons.

"These are the things that, as principals, we have to worry about - it's a risk factor, the contagion effect of diseases," Mr Tully said.

"Personally, I think it's absolutely essential that all kids have immunisation. Some of us can't, so the rest of us should.

"Schools are the obvious place to get them - it's easy and there's no inconvenience to parents."

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Upper Yarra Secondary College Principal, Scott Tully, with student, Hunter Gray.


Cases of Meningococcal W have increased across Australia since 2013 and the strain is now one of the most predominant in Victoria. The vaccination provided protects against strains A, C, W and Y.

Parental or guardian consent is required for 15 - 16 year olds receiving the vaccine in schools or at the free community sessions.   In a clinical setting, such as a medical centre, parents can provide consent or GP providers can determine 'mature minor' consent where applicable.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Tony Stevenson, encouraged parents to book their children in and make the most of the free vaccines.

"According to the Department of Health and Human Services, young people in the 15-16 age group are more likely to spread this disease to others if infected, so vaccinating young people can help to protect the wider community by preventing its spread," Cr Stevenson said.

"Our immunisation team has been running sessions in schools across the Yarra Ranges, but it's important for parents to know the vaccine is free to any young person in that age group, regardless of whether they're enrolled at school or not.

"We have sessions available until 19 December which can be booked online and the State Government program will be available from about April 2019 to those ages 15 - 19 years."

For more information, or to book a session, visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/immunisation.