Meningococcal B vaccine to be made free for infants, children and adolescents

The Queensland Government has announced the introduction of free meningococcal B (MenB) vaccines, from 2024.

Minister for Health Shannon Fentiman announced the Queensland Meningococcal B Immunisation Program will be launched, with an initial investment of more than $90 million over three years.

The vaccinations will form part of the routine childhood and school immunisation programs in Queensland, for eligible cohorts, as recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Eligible cohorts include:

  • All infants and children under the age of two
  • All adolescents aged 15 to 19 years.

The MenB vaccination program will be delivered through Queensland Health registered vaccine service providers including general practitioners, community vaccination clinics, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services.

For secondary school students in Year 10, the meningococcal B vaccine will form part of Queensland’s School Immunisation Program.

Invasive meningococcal disease can cause significant illness, disability and death, with the MenB strain emerging as the most common cause of illness and death of all strains.

Queensland has recorded 20 cases of MenB so far this year, following 10 cases to the same time last year, with a total of 26 cases in 2022.

MenB vaccination is currently free under the National Immunisation Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants, and all people with medical risk factors for invasive meningococcal disease.

More information on meningococcal and the Queensland Meningococcal B Immunisation Program is available here.