Meningococcal W

Meningococcal W

Meningococcal W has increased sharply across Australia over the last two years so in August 2017 we began providing free meningococcal W vaccine for older teenagers.

The four-antigen vaccine provides protection against meningococcal ACWY strains. Only one dose is needed.

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious infection that can cause lifelong disability in up to 20 per cent of cases and death in five to 10 percent of cases.

Around 10 per cent of healthy individuals carry the meningococcal bacteria in their nose and throat.

Meningococcal bacteria is spread through secretions of the nose and throat, and older teenagers are particularly at risk of carrying and transmitting the bacteria to others.

The bacteria cannot survive outside the body and does not spread easily from shared drinks, food or cigarettes.

Many older teenagers will have received a meningococcal C vaccine before.  This is not a barrier to them having the ACWY vaccine.

Free Meningococcal W vaccinations

The Tasmanian Government is funding a free meningococcal W vaccine for older teenagers who were born between 1 August 1997 and 30 April 2003.

The program commenced in August 2017 through the School-based Immunisation Program, General Practitioners and some council clinics.  If you have not received your vaccine you can still get a free vaccine through General Practitioners and some council clinics. Call the Public Health Hotline – Tasmania on 0800 671 738 for more information.

Further information

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal Vaccines

16 July 2018