THE Derwent Valley Council will join the campaign against the outbreak of meningococcal disease in southern Tasmania. The council has announced it will work with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide the community with vaccines against meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y (given as one vaccine).
The council’s intention is to hold free meningococcal vaccination sessions for members of the community aged between six weeks and 21 years (ie those born after August 1, 1997). It will make an announcement about the time and place of these sessions as soon as the vaccines become available.
"Council will not be providing vaccinations for meningococcal B - this vaccine is only available on private prescription," a council spokesman said. "Please contact your local doctor or pharmacist to arrange a vaccination for this strain."
Local pharmacies have also announced their ability to assist. Bel Bird of the New Norfolk Guardian Pharmacy says stock of meningococcal vaccines is arriving daily and it was hoped to be able to offer subsidised clinics for meningococcal ACWY vaccinations in the near future.
The New Norfolk AMCAL Pharmacy also reports a lot of interest in meningococcal vaccines. "We do have both strains readily available at the moment. For the time being you do need a prescription from the doctor and they are not yet covered by the Government. We will keep you updated as to when they become covered and when pharmacists are able to immunise against meningococcal," a spokesman said.
A fact sheet about Meningococcal Disease is available here. For all other information or inquiries call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.