Healthy living

Meningococcal ACWY vaccine

  • Meningococcal is a rare but life threatening disease.
  • A free meningococcal ACWY vaccine is available for children aged 1 to 4 and young people 15 to 19 years of age.
  • Vaccines will be delivered through schools, community health centres and immunisation clinics.
  • Parents of infants aged less than 12 months in WA who have already commenced, but not completed, a course of privately funded vaccination with Menveo vaccine, should contact their immunisation provider to receive the next vaccination.

What MenACWY vaccination programs are available?

The MenACWY vaccine will help protect against meningococcal types A, C, W and Y.

Adolescent program

Year 10 students will receive their vaccination at school in 2018. Consent forms will be sent home prior to the vaccination day.

Adolescents aged between 15 and 19 can continue to access the vaccine until further notice.

Childhood program

The WA childhood program will offer free MenACWY vaccine to children aged 12 months to less than 5 years.

Children who turn 12 months of age will be able to receive the free vaccine at their 12 month visit.

Other children aged 13 months to <5 years can contact their immunisation provider to schedule an appointment for their child to get the MenACWY vaccine.

Infographic: Meningococcal disease and the importance of MenACWY vaccination for under 5s

Infographic: Meningococcal disease and the importance of the MenACWY vaccine for young children

Why use the MenACWY vaccine?

Meningococcal disease type W was the type responsible for most of the recent cases in WA in 2017. The MenACWY vaccine protects for type W meningococcal disease and also for type Y, which is increasing in the community. In addition, the vaccine protects against type C, already in the national childhood immunisation schedule, and type A, a type rare in Australia. This vaccine does not protect against type B meningococcal disease.

Which vaccines will be used?

Two brands of the MenACWY vaccine will be used.  Both vaccines, Nimenrix® and Menveo® protect against the four types of meningococcal bacteria A, C, W and Y and are similar in terms of safety and efficacy.

  • Nimenrix® can be given as a single dose to persons from age 12 months.
  • Menveo® can be given as a single dose to persons aged from 2 years.

Nimenrix® will be used for children aged 12 months to <2 years of age and Menveo® will be used for children aged from 2 years and adolescents.

Who should have the vaccine?

12 month program

Children who turn 12 months of age will be able to receive the free vaccine at their 12 month visit.

Catch up program

Other children aged 13 months to <5 years can contact their immunisation provider to schedule an appointment for their child to get the MenACWY vaccine.  Calling ahead for an appointment is important so the provider can make sure they have the vaccine in stock and available.  This catch-up program will end on 31 December 2018.

Adolescent program

Year 10 students will be offered the free MenACWY vaccine at school during 2018. Consent forms will be sent home prior to vaccination day.

15 to 19 year olds who missed their vaccination during 2017 can still get their free vaccine, until further notice, by contacting their immunisation provider.

Others who should consider having a meningococcal vaccine include:

  • People who plan to travel or live in parts of the world where meningococcal disease is common, such as parts of Africa, or people participating in mass international gatherings such as the Hajj in Mecca. Some countries require provide evidence of vaccination for entry visas.
  • Laboratory personnel who frequently handle Neisseria Meningitis
  • Household or sexual contacts of a case.
  • People who have medical conditions associated with an increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) such as:
    • defects in or deficiency of complement components, including factor H, factor D or properdin deficiency
    • current or future treatment with eculizumab (a monoclonal antibody directed against complement component C5)
    • functional or anatomical asplenia
    • HIV infection, regardless of stage of disease or CD4+ count
    • haematopoietic stem cell transplant

People considering immunisation should seek advice from their local doctor or a travel doctor.

Is the MenACWY vaccine safe and effective?

Studies have shown that the effectiveness of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine is between 80 to 85 per cent.

Studies have also shown that the vaccines used in the WA childhood meningococcal ACWY vaccination program are safe to use in children and adults. As with any vaccine, there may be some mild side effects. These include injection site pain, redness and swelling, myalgia, headache, nausea, loss of appetite and fever. Serious vaccine reactions are similar to those of other childhood vaccines and are very rare.

How is the vaccine given?

The MenACWY vaccine can be safely administered in either the upper arm or the upper thigh, depending on the age of the vaccine recipient.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Children aged 12 months to <5 years

  • General practitioner (GP)
  • Local community health centre (metropolitan areas)
  • Central immunisation service (metropolitan area)
  • Population health unit (regional areas)

All eligible Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons

  • Vaccines are available at Aboriginal Medical Services

Please contact your immunisation provider for details or to make an appointment.

Vaccines are available at Aboriginal Medical Services (external site).

Year 10 students

In schools during the 2018 and 2019 school years. Schools will send out consent forms prior to immunisation day.

Individuals who miss the school immunisation day, are 18 to 19 years of age or other age-eligible people not in school

  • Some university health centres (university students)
  • General practitioner (GP)
  • Local community health centre (metropolitan areas)
  • Central immunisation service (metropolitan area)
  • Public health unit (regional areas)

Those not eligible for the state wide program (ages outside 15 to 19 years) may purchase the vaccine privately from their GP or Aboriginal Medical Service.

More information

For vaccination information you can contact your local immunisation provider or public health unit.

Metropolitan Perth

Central Immunisation Clinic

  • 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
  • 4.30pm to 6.00pm, 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month

Phone: (08) 9321 1312
Email: centimm@health.wa.gov.au
Address: 16 Rheola Street, West Perth WA 6005

Local councils

Regional public health units

WA Country Health Service (WACHS)


Acknowledgements

Public Health


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page