All Gold Coast Year 10 students will be eligible for a free vaccination against meningococcal disease over the next 12 months with the State Government committing up to $6 million towards a vaccination program.
Meningococcal disease is a severe infection with symptoms including vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, drowsiness, joint pain or a rash of red-purple spots or bruises. The disease can lead to death or long-term health issues including limb deformity, deafness, epilepsy and possible loss of brain function. Approximately 10 per cent of cases are fatal.
The vaccine will also be available for free to all young people between 15 and 19 years of age through GPs and other immunisation providers until the end of May 2018.
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It comes after 26 cases of meningococcal disease were identified across the state last year, and a further six cases were identified since the beginning of this year.