MIL-OSI Australia: Free MenB vaccine for Queensland infants and teens

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Source: Government of Queensland Regions

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • The Miles Labor Government is offering free meningococcal B vaccination to nearly half a million children and adolescents, thanks to a $90 million investment.
  • The free vaccines have been progressively rolled out over the past few weeks with the full program now available to all eligible infants and adolescents.
  • Year 10 students are among the first to be vaccinated through the scheduled School Immunisation Program.

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The Miles Labor Government is investing $90 million over three years to rollout free potentially lifesaving meningococcal B (MenB) vaccines for infants, children and adolescents.

Last year, Queensland recorded 36 cases of meningococcal B disease and two cases have been recorded this year to date.

This serious infection can lead to complications from invasive meningococcal disease which can cause significant illness, disability, and death.

That’s why the Queensland Labor Government will deliver about 450,000 free MenB vaccines. 

Distribution of these vaccines is underway to vaccination providers to manage the roll out of the new program.

Year 10 students are among the first to receive the vaccine through scheduled Queensland School Immunisation Program visits.

Browns Plains State High School is one of the first schools in the state to provide students with the vaccine.

All infants and children under two, and adolescents aged 15 to 19, can now access the vaccine, in line with the Queensland Government’s commitment to implement the program in the first quarter of 2024. 

This builds upon the existing program offering the meningococcal ACWY vaccine, providing even broader protection.

The state-funded MenB program will be delivered through registered vaccination service providers including general practitioners, community vaccination clinics, pharmacies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services.

More information on meningococcal disease and the Queensland Meningococcal B Vaccination Program is available here.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment: 

“Make no mistake, these meningococcal B vaccines will save lives.

“Our investment of $90 million will ensure all Queensland children and adolescents can access this lifesaving vaccine.  

“As Queensland families face tough decisions as a result of national cost of living pressures, the Queensland Labor Government is ensuring the health of our future generations are not being compromised a result.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Shannon Fentiman:

“We know the meningococcal B strain can progress rapidly and cause serious disability or death.

“That’s why the Miles Government is investing more than ever before in this state-funded vaccination program.

“The health of Queenslanders is our top priority and this investment will ensure nearly half a million infants, children and adolescents will be eligible to receive the MenB vaccine this year for free.

“Eligible cohorts will be able to access the vaccine through primary care providers and the School Immunisation Program.

“And it’s great news that we have been able to offer the vaccine to all eligible cohorts a month earlier than expected – providing crucial protection sooner. 

“Our Meningococcal B Vaccination program removes the financial barriers to vaccination, ensuring those most vulnerable can access this lifesaving protection. 

“The Miles Government will continue to advocate for a nationally consistent approach to funded MenB vaccines under the National Immunisation Program. 

“I would like to thank the brave parents who tirelessly advocated for this program after experiencing unimaginable loss.

“Their courage and determination have directly resulted in this lifesaving initiative.” 

Quotes attributable to Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard:

“Queensland Health has been working closely with key stakeholders ahead of the launch of this important vaccination program – and it’s great we’ve been able to roll it out a month earlier than anticipated.

“Vaccinating additional cohorts is an important step towards reducing the risk associated with meningococcal B infection and keeping more people safe from the disease.

“It’s so important to get vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. Many vaccine-preventable diseases are highly contagious and there’s the risk of serious complications.

“I encourage all parents with eligible children to take the opportunity to vaccinate their child against all vaccine-preventable strains of meningococcal – A, B, C, W and Y.”