Better protection against meningococcal disease

As of 1 July, the Australian National Immunisation Schedule was updated to improve protection against meningococcal and pneumococcal disease. This means that amidst the changes, the program now covers the administration of Bexsero® (meningococcal B vaccine) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at 2, 4 and 12 months of age, plus an extra dose at 6 months if a child has a specified medical condition that deems them to be at greater risk.

There have also been changes to the recommended pneumococcal vaccination schedule.  Pneumococcus is a bacteria that can cause life threatening illness from pneumonia or other infection. Infants are given a vaccination against pneumococcal at 2, 4 and 12 months of age, however, there have been some changes to the recommended schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-indigenous people aged 65 years and older. Prior to July 2020, adults were offered a pneumococcal vaccination at 65 years of age and over, but this has been changed to 70 years and over based on recommendations that pneumococcal disease is more common after the age of 70.

For more information, refer to the Department of Health website.

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