THREE MONTHS TO GO FOR FREE MENINGOCOCCAL VACCINES

THREE MONTHS TO GO FOR FREE MENINGOCOCCAL VACCINES

THREE MONTHS TO GO FOR FREE MENINGOCOCCAL VACCINES

29 September 2003

Thomas George, National Party Member for Lismore, has urged parents of young children to take advantage of free meningococcal vaccines before they expire at the end of the year.

"Prevention and early detection are the best weapons we have against this deadly disease," Mr George said.

"Parents of children under five who haven't yet been vaccinated by their GP, should do so before this offer expires on December 31."

NSW Health figures show there have been 140 confirmed cases of meningococcal this year, with nine deaths.

Free meningococcal C vaccinations are available until the end of the year to all children under five as part of the federal government's immunisation program.

From next year, GPs can only give free vaccinations for children aged 12 months, as meningococcal becomes part of the school based vaccination program.

"There is still no vaccination available for meningococcal B, so it is still essential parents remain vigilant, know the symptoms, and how to reduce infection," Mr George said.

The disease is passed on by direct contact through saliva.

Sharing of drinks in the playground is one of the most common ways children become infected with meningococcal disease.

Symptoms of the disease can include -
Sudden onset of fever Headache Rash Pain in joints Tiredness Neck stiffness Nausea Vomiting Symptoms can be less specific in young children and may include drowsiness, a rash and being unsettled.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577