News

Kalgoorlie targeted Men W vaccination program

8 December 2016

A one-off meningococcal W vaccination program for people living in Kalgoorlie, Boulder, Coolgardie and Kambalda, will run from Monday 12 December 2016 to Saturday 1 April 2017.

Person about to have a vaccination

The program, which follows a recent community outbreak, will target children aged four years and under, and 15-to-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-to-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.

Vaccination clinics will be set up in the Kalgoorlie area in schools that had not yet closed for the year, and also at the Aboriginal Medical Service, and Community Health Clinics. The vaccine would also be available from General Practitioners and other primary care providers.

Residents in the Kalgoorlie area can call 1800 131 231 for information on clinic times and vaccine availability.

For more information, read the FAQs (PDF 244KB).