Vaccine Clinic Details
Who can have the meningococcal vaccine?
Children aged 1-5 years and students (Australian and international) aged 15-19 are eligible for the free vaccine.
Is there a cost?
There is no cost for the meningococcal vaccine.
Medicare eligible students will have the consultation charged directly to Medicare (bulk billed) – so no out of pocket expense.
Students who are non-medicare eligible will be charged a nominal service fee which they may get refunded from their health fund. This is payable at the time of vaccination.
The consent form has some additional useful information for you to refer to.
What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection of the blood and brain/spinal cord membranes, spread from respiratory secretions by coughing and sneezing. It can affect any age group but is most common in 15-19 year olds. Around 10% of healthy people carry the bacteria in their nose or throat without being unwell but in rare cases it can cause serious infections leading to long term disability and death.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, neck stiffness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting and a rash. The disease can progress rapidly so anyone with symptoms should consult a doctor or emergency department immediately.
About the meningococcal vaccine
The vaccine is safe and effective. It has been used for many years, mainly in travellers. It does not contain any live bacteria and cannot cause meningococcal disease.
Most common vaccine side effects include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. Less commonly you may experience fever, headache, nausea, drowsiness and rash. These are usually mild and self-limiting and usually relieved by paracetamol.
Serious general vaccine side effects are extremely rare. This could include a very high fever, or an allergic reaction. Urgent medical attention would be recommended.