To help protect our youngest Australians from the devastating consequences of meningococcal, a quad-strain vaccine will be added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

The new vaccine (Nimenrix) covers against A, C, W and Y strains (MenACWY) and will be added to the NIP ahead of the next peak meningococcal season which, based on previous years, is expected to be in the second half of the year.

Meningococcal is a rare but very serious infection that occurs when meningococcal bacteria from the throat or nose ‘invades’ the body. The consequences are devastating for individuals and for their families.

Currently, infants aged 12 months are given a single-strain Meningococcal C vaccine.

“Upgrading to the quad-strain is great news for parents and infants,” Mr Pasin said.

“As a father of two young children I understand how frightening this disease is. Meningococcal has affected many communities in Barker.

“The Coalition Government is committed to strengthening Australia’s world-class national vaccination program and we urge all Australian parents and carers to have their children vaccinated.

This announcement follows the decision earlier this week by Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to recommend the listing of Nimenrix for infants aged 12 months of age.

“Inclusion of a vaccine against A, C, W and Y strains of Meningococcol is great news but I understand that there is still more to do. I understand that we still need effective cover against the B strain and I will be continuing my fight for this,” Mr Pasin said.

The Coalition Government has a policy of funding all medicines recommended by PBAC.
Mr Pasin said it was part of the Coalitions commitment to making medicines accessible, and because immunisation is critical to maintaining public health and preventing the outbreak of infectious diseases.
“Vaccination works and is an effective and safe tool to prevent the spread of many diseases that cause hospitalisation, serious ongoing health conditions and sometimes death,” said Mr Pasin.

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