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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Australian Medical Association (WA) welcomes the State Government’s announcement that WA will commence a vaccination program targeting meningococcal ACW and Y strains.
“Health Minister John Day has listened to the right advice and doctors support the initiative which has come in response to increased prevalence, particularly of the very nasty W strain of meningitis” AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said today.
“We have seen a concerning surge in meningococcal cases from strains that are not covered by the National Immunisation Program, and we welcome the Health Department’s evolving stance on this issue.
“The incidence of the meningococcal W disease has been rising since 2013 but jumped significantly from 4 in 2015 to 14 in 2016.
“This strain causes severe illness and often requires treatment in intensive care. It also has the highest associated death rate out of all the meningococcal strains.
“Without effective intervention, W strain infection rates could continue to escalate exponentially, especially in the teen population where the risk of transmission is greatest.
“The nuance of which vaccines should be rolled out on the public purse is one that must be led by the medical experts in the field, and that is what is happening here,” Dr Miller said.