Meningococcal disease due to the W strain has been increasing in Australia, affecting babies, young children teenagers and young adults. It can be very serious. At present there is no vaccine funded by government to prevent W disease. The most common strain of Meningococcal disease is B strain. The government has been considering weather to introduce that vaccination into the schedule for babies/children. Such a vaccine may also prevent W disease as the B vaccine is a cross.
The Parkyn Family in South Australia started this petition after their 3 year old daughter Jazmyn was diagnosed with Meningococcal B back in August 2015. Her parents had Jazmyn (and her 2 siblings) 'fully' immunised under the free Australian Immunisation program. Jazmyn's parents assumed that they were protected for Meningococcal Disease.
Meningococcal B is the most common strain in Australia today. Currently, the meningococcal C vaccine is on the schedule, and the B vaccine is only available on the private market. This can be unaccessible for many families.
Meningococcal Australia are helping the Parkyn family reach and educate as many people as they can, which will in turn assist this important vaccine being added to the National immunisation program. If you wish to have this petition in your workplace, business or school, please contact Meningococcal Australia email@example.com.
Your support is vital. Together, we can make a difference and have our voices heard.
Meningococcal Australia is disappointed to learn that the Meningococcal B vaccine has not been successful in gaining PBS status. This means that Australian families will have to continue to source the vaccine on the private market and pay from their own pocket. We are disappointed that the committee has made this decision, this vaccine should be accessible for all children on the NIP (National Immunisation Program). Meningococcal B is now the most prevalent strain in Australia today. Since the successful introduction of the Meningococcal C vaccine back in 2003, it has had such a positive result protecting our whole community. We hope hope that the concerns around the vaccines implementation can be addressed in the coming months and we can see the Men B vaccine added to protect our community. Until then please remember to Know, Check and Act for Meningococcal Disease.
Late winter and early Spring herald the peak time for Meningococcal Disease cases. We have been fortunate to have had great media coverage helping to educate the public on the KNOW, CHECK and ACT message in resent weeks however Meningococcal Disease is still within our community and we need more awareness around early detection and well as vaccination.
Popular website Mamamia is helping out Meningococcal Australia with some research into the knowledge gaps parents might have about meningococcal disease – by posting an online survey which was prepared in consultation with MA. The survey is due to commence on Thursday 12th March and will be available for several weeks. Please visit Mamamia and complete the survey – information is power!
Meningococcal Australia is disappointed by the recent decision by the Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee not to fund the Meningococcal B vaccine. This decision means the vaccine will not be made freely available to Australian families via the National Immunisation Program.
Meningococcal B accounts for 84 percent of meningococcal disease cases in Australia and we see broad access to the vaccine as critical to reducing the number of cases of the disease each year.1 As we have seen with the introduction of the Meningococcal C vaccine on the National Immunisation Program in 2003, the impact of including a vaccine in the immunisation
program can be dramatic with only two cases in the under 19 year old age group reported in 2012 (Australian Meningococcal Surveillance Programme Annual Report 2012).
If not identified early enough, the emotional and financial impact of meningococcal disease on individuals and families can be enormous. Up to 1 in 10 of those who contract the disease will not survive and up to 1 in 5 are left with lifelong disabilities that range from learning difficulties, sight/hearing problems, loss of fingers, toes and limbs as well as scarring from skin grafts (cdc.gov).
Meningococcal Australia is committed to educating families and communities on the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and we encourage families to discuss vaccination with their doctors.
This sketch animation video was released by Meningococcal Australia on June 16, ahead of peak season, to help increase community awareness and understanding of meningococcal disease.
In September 2013 Anne Geddes began a photographic series featuring survivors of meningococcal disease. The campaign has seen Anne partner with meningococcal disease support groups from around the world, including Meningococcal Australia.
Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease is a global awareness campaign that aims to broaden awareness about the threat of meningococcal disease and the importance of prevention, through inspirational photographs that highlight powerful stories of survival and loss.
Meningococcal Australia is proud to be the Australian partner and together with Anne conducted the first photo shoot in Sydney in September 2013. This was followed by photo shoots in London in December 2013 and Toronto in January 2014.
The Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease’ campaign is supported by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics.
Download the eBook
Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease is a beautifully rendered digital book that features portraits of 15 families from three different continents. Each picture conveys the profound long-term impact meningococcal disease can have on individuals and families, with Anne Geddes' trademark elegant and ethereal style. This e-book is now available for free download in Australia via iTunes.
About Anne Geddes
Anne Geddes is one of the world’s most respected photographers, creating images that are iconic, multi-award winning, internationally acclaimed and beloved. Her photographs have appeared around the world in her many books and calendars. Anne’s work has been published in 84 countries and her books have sold more than 18 million copies worldwide.
Anne has a history of philanthropy, founding The Geddes Philanthropic Trust with her husband Kel in 1992, in conjunction with the release of her then first calendar. The Foundation aims to raise funds and awareness for the prevention of child abuse and neglect worldwide.
Anne also has a special relationship with Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney, particularly the Grace Ward, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which specialises in caring for babies with surgical, cardiac and complex medical conditions.In 2011, Anne formed a partnership with the United Nation’s ‘Every Woman Every Child’ initiative, which is dedicated to making the health and welfare of pregnant women and newborn children a global priority. Anne was also appointed to be the Global Advocate for the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, which provides access to basic life-saving immunisations to children in the developing world.
For more information on Anne’s many activities and achievements, visit www.annegeddes.com