News

Meningococcal W vaccination

23 December 2016

A one-off meningococcal W vaccination program for people living in Kalgoorlie, Boulder, Coolgardie and Kambalda will target children aged four years and under and 15 to 19 year-olds.

Person about to have a vaccination

The program, which follows a recent community outbreak, will target children aged four years and under, and 15-19 year-olds – the groups most at risk of meningococcal disease.

In the past two months, five meningococcal W cases have occurred in the Kalgoorlie area. All five cases were genetically similar and there is local transmission of a particular type of meningococcal W in the Kalgoorlie area.

The 0-4 and 15-19 year-old age groups are being targeted as young children, especially Aboriginal children, and older teenagers as most at risk of developing meningococcal disease.

Of the 27 meningococcal W cases diagnosed in WA since 2000, the majority (37%) were in children aged 4 years and under, and 22 per cent were adolescents aged 15 to 19 years.

The teenage group is known to have the highest rate of asymptomatic carriage meningococcal bacteria, and vaccinating this group has the highest chance of establishing herd immunity in the wider community in the shortest time period.

The meningococcal W vaccine is available in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Coolgardie and Kambalda for the targeted age groups;  two months to four years (under five) and 15 to 19 years (under twenty) until 31 March 2017.

Vaccinations will be provided from Population Health in Kalgoorlie (Ware Street), Coolgardie and Kambalda Community Health Clinics, Bega Garnbirringu Aboriginal Medical Services and General Practitioners during their normal business hours.

For more information read the FAQs (PDF 109KB) or phone 1800 131 231.