The Tasmanian Government is launching a second stage of the meningococcal vaccination program campaign, with new statistics revealing take-up from 20-year-olds has not been as high as the other ages which have been very successful.
Despite the expanded program being one of the most successful mass vaccination campaign in Tasmania’s history, the next stage will encourage 20-year-olds to receive their free immunisation.
Nearly 90,000 young Tasmanians have been vaccinated against meningococcal A, C, W and Y in just 11 weeks in our cities and regions. This has been a remarkable team effort and I thank our team at Public Health Services, GPs, pharmacists and councils across the state for the wonderful work they did in facilitating and contributing to this lifesaving program.
Thank you also goes to the parents and young Tasmanians who have supported the program by presenting for a free immunisation.
We believe that the campaign will save Tasmanian lives, perhaps some have been saved from disease already.
More than 90 per cent of 15-year-olds have received their free vaccination, however, less than one-third of 20-year-olds have done so.
The free program is not over and I encourage the remaining Tasmanians who have not yet received their vaccination to do so.
The expanded vaccination program was launched in response to an outbreak of meningococcal W in the state’s South, with Tasmanians aged six weeks to under 21 eligible for a free shot.
Anyone concerned they may have symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek emergency medical care.
For further information, visit www.health.tas.gov.au or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
ACWY vaccination statistics by age: