Free meningococcal W immunisation clinics in the ceduna district

28 February 2017

Free Meningococcal W immunisation clinics will be open to residents from the Ceduna district in a community response to several recent local cases of the disease.

SA Health Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paddy Phillips said the clinics are similar to a response by Western Australian health authorities following a cluster of cases there.

“In response to three local cases of meningococcal infection in the past three months, we’re holding immunisation clinics to help boost immunity in the district,” Professor Phillips said.

“While meningococcal infection is fairly rare and only passed person-to-person by close and prolonged contact, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms including a fever, headache, difficulty looking at bright lights, stiff neck, confusion, drowsiness, vomiting, sore muscles, or a purple rash, and seek medical advice.”

Ceduna Hospital Director of Nursing Andrew Lane said the clinic schedule will start next Monday, 6 March, and run for three weeks initially.

“The immunisation clinics will be open to all residents aged two months and older and operate within Ceduna and the outlying communities of Koonibba, Penong, Smoky Bay, Yalata and Oak Valley,” Mr Lane Said.

“To reduce the likelihood of any further cases in the district, I encourage people to attend one of the clinics. All it takes is a moment of your time and you can help boost our community’s immunity.”

Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Zell Dodd said the clinic schedule includes sessions at outlying communities, so there will be many opportunities for all community people to receive the vaccine.

“We’ve been working very closely with SA Health’s Communicable Disease Control Branch and local health services to make sure these immunisation clinics are as accessible as possible,” Ms Dodd said.

“The clinics will be run across the region over the next three weeks and the follow-up boosters will be offered free over the following three-four months.

“I strongly encourage families and individuals to call into one of the sessions nearest you during the times available.

“We will endeavour to make this as smooth as possible and I urge you to be patient.”

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