Meningococcal disease in Victoria

Meningococcal disease is a blood infection or infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (Meningitis). 

Since 2014, a gradual increase in the number of cases of meningococcal disease has been detected in Victoria, due to a particular strain of bacteria known as ‘serogroup W’ (Department of Health and Human Services 2017a).

In response to this emerging strain, the department issued an advisory to health professionals to raise awareness of this serious condition.

In 2017, the Victorian Government announced funding of $7.1 million to deliver a one-year vaccination program for 15 to 19-year-olds (Department of Health and Human Services 2017b).

Additional funding in early 2018 allowed vaccination of pupils in year 10 at secondary school and those adolescents aged 15 and 16 not at school (Department of Health and Human Services 2018).

To the end of 2018, almost 300,000 doses of the vaccine had been distributed and cases of meningococcal disease decreased following the peak in 2017.

Find out more

The department has a meningococcal page for information about meningococcal disease and its public health management.

References

Department of Health and Human Services 2017a, Media release: Protecting Victorians from Meningococcal W, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne. 

Department of Health and Human Services 2017b, Health alert: Vaccination campaign to combat meningococcal disease in gay men, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne. 

Department of Health and Human Services 2018, Immunisation Newsletter February 2018, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne. 

 

Immunisation articles

Immunisation coverage and amendments to No Jab No Play legislation

Immunisation coverage and amendments to No Jab No Play legislation: More than 95 per cent of Victorian five-year-old children are now immunised for their age. 

Immunisation for Meningococcal disease in Victoria

Discusses programs to increase meningococcal vaccination for teenagers and young adults

Immunisation high risk groups

Discusses programs to increase immunisation coverage for high risk groups in Victoria.