When Riley Nixon from Adelaide was 23 months old he fell ill with meningococcal B and faced a fight for his life. Although he bravely survived, doctors needed to remove his legs and hands in order to save him.
Like most babies across Australia, when Riley was 12 months old he'd received the free meningococcal C vaccine.
His parents Amy and Chad thought he was fully protected. But what they didn't realise is that there are five deadly strains of meningococcal disease – A,B,C,W and Y - and currently, only the C vaccine is on the PBS.
Some states have introduced a free ACWY combined vaccine program for adolescents, the most at risk group, however this isn’t consistent across all states. In February, the Federal Government said the ACWY jab would be added to the PBS, but a date still hasn’t been confirmed.
To immunise their babies against the B strain, parents have to pay between $125 and $150 per dose, with up to four doses needed, and the ACWY vaccine costs between $38 and $120.
that’s life! magazine is asking the Federal Government to provide FREE vaccines for all five strains of meningococcal – A,B,C,W,Y.
We believe our kids deserve the right to be protected against this terrible disease and families shouldn’t have to risk their children’s health because they can’t afford the jabs.
To sign the that's life! Protect Our Kids campaign click here to make sure all children across Australia are fully vaccinated against this awful disease.