Vaccine off the table for Queensland
QUEENSLAND Health has ruled out expanding the meningococcal vaccination program, despite the state having some of the highest rates of the deadly disease in the country.
Federal Government data shows that, so far this year, Queensland has had 27 cases of meningococcal disease.
The figure is just behind NSW, which tops the country with 28 cases, and ahead of Victoria's 23 cases.
A Queensland Health spokesman said the department would not follow South Australia's lead and introduce a vaccination program for babies and young people against the potentially deadly meningococcal B.
The spokesman cited the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee twice rejecting submissions to include the vaccine on the National Immunisation Program as a reason for not copying South Australia.
He said the reasons it was rejected included "uncertainty surrounding the protection provided by the vaccine".
The Federal Government introduced a combined vaccine for meningococcal A, C, W and Y for kids aged one, starting July 1.
"More recently, Queensland has had higher combined rates of meningococcal W and Y strains than meningococcal B," the spokesman said.