Vaccine top-up lands in Tasmania | Innovation Tech
MORE than 6000 meningococcal vaccine doses landed in the state on Friday as a major response to an outbreak of the deadly disease begins.
The vaccine was on its way to GPs in an area from New Town to Glenorchy, where three of four meningococcal W strain cases have occurred.
Delivery of another 90,000 doses to be administered statewide to all Tasmanians under 21 will begin next week.
VACCINATION PROGRAM MAY EXPAND FURTHER
YOUR MENINGOCOCCAL VACCINATION QUESTIONS ANSWERED
“Privately provided supplies from individual pharmacies may have been limited in recent weeks due to increased demand, but this will not affect the vaccination program,” a joint statement from Health Minister Michael Ferguson and Director of Public Health Mark Veitch said.
“Free vaccines under the extended program will be distributed to immunisers, including GPs, pharmacists and council clinics as the full program rolls out over coming weeks.”
Advertisements will appear in the state’s three newspapers this weekend, followed by TV and radio ads in coming weeks to inform the public about the availability of vaccinations.
Posters and pamphlets will be produced and information distributed through GP clinics, childcare centres, schools, councils, pharmacies, Service Tasmania and public healthcare buildings.
DOCTORS WANT MENINGOCOCCAL UPDATES DAILY
The statement said information on the extended program had already been provided to 800 GPs, 160 community pharmacies, 260 early childhood education directors, as well as every school and council.
Social media from the Department of Health had reached more than 137,000 people.
“Tasmanians are to be commended for working with government and public health authorities to share this important information so it reaches everyone in the state,” the statement said.
As revealed by the Mercury this week, an expansion of the vaccination program against four strains of the disease — A, C W and Y — will be rolled out to all Tasmanians from six weeks old to 21.
FREE VACCINATIONS FOR ALL UNDER-21S
VACCINE PETITION GAINS STRONG SUPPORT
Four of the state’s five recent cases, including the death of 16-year-old Sarah Rose Beltz, have been confirmed as the W strain of the disease.
A 20-year-old man contracted the B strain.
There have been no further confirmed cases since two were confirmed on Wednesday.
Three patients remain in a stable condition in the Royal Hobart Hospital, a Health Department spokesman said.
Tasmanians are being advised to be aware of symptoms such as fever, severe headache, severe muscle pain, and quickly becoming unusually unwell. Late in the illness, there can be a rash.
Infants can be lethargic, floppy and feed poorly.
Anyone who is concerned that they may be showing symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek emergency medical care.