Students are being advised to
visit their GP for a health check at least two weeks before travel to ensure
they are up to date with meningococcal ACWY and measles vaccinations.
In 2017, the NSW school-based
vaccination program achieved uptake of 72% for meningococcal ACWY vaccination
for Year 11 students in school clinics. Others may have taken advantage of free
vaccine from their GP.
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of
the Communicable Diseases Branch, NSW Health, explained that while this number
is encouraging, it does mean that up to 28% of students graduating this year
may not be vaccinated.
both measles and meningococcal are free for students who have missed their
routine doses,” Dr Sheppeard said.
travelling overseas should also check with their GP if they need other
vaccines, such as hepatitis A and B, typhoid or a tetanus booster.”
Since 2017, the NSW Government
has invested $17 million in the Meningococcal W Response Program and a record
$22.75 million on statewide immunisation programs this year.
“There has been a lot of
education centred around the risks of sex, drugs and alcohol, but the threat of
infection and disease is very real and students should discuss their
vaccination history with their GP prior to travel,” she said.
remains common in several overseas countries, travellers are at risk of
high levels of social mixing increase the risk of exposure to meningococcal
also reminded to pack an effective insect repellent to avoid contracting
mosquito-borne infections, including Dengue Fever and Ross River virus.