Time to immunise: free vaccines to stop outbreaks

Time to immunise: free vaccines to stop outbreaks

Victoria has launched a comprehensive vaccination program for viral hepatitis and meningococcal in populations that have seen outbreaks of both illnesses.

The Victorian Government launched the campaign to promote free vaccines for men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs. Following outbreaks of meningococcal C and hepatitis A among men who have sex with men, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled out free vaccines in an effort to stem the spread of both diseases.

To get the word out, the Department worked with the Victorian AIDS Council to develop a campaign to promote the vaccination program, as well as vaccinations for hepatitis B and human papilloma virus. The campaign, called ‘Little Pricks,’ encourages men who have sex with men to take advantage of free vaccines before the end of the year.

The campaign will also extend to people who inject drugs, after several cases of hepatitis A emerged in that population. In addition to hepatitis A, the campaign will educate the community about the different types of hepatitis, the available free vaccines, and the new cure drugs for hepatitis C. Working with Harm Reduction Victoria and Hepatitis Victoria, the campaign will encourage people who inject drugs to use safe injecting practices and to visit their GP to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

For more information about the campaign visit the Drama Down Under website.

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