Family's meningococcal warning after daughter lands in ICU
A family from South Australia's Riverland is urging South Australians to take advantage of free meningococcal disease vaccinations.
The Parkyn family knows only too well how quickly the rare but potentially deadly disease can take hold.
Their 7-year-old daughter Jazmyn was struck down with the disease four years ago. Thanks to the quick action of her doctor, she was rushed from Renmark to Adelaide.
Her father says it was a very scary time.
"Jazmyn was in ICU and looked quite sick and weak, and yeah it was very scary," Aaron Parkyn told 9News.
Jazmyn was up-to-date with her vaccinations, but Meningococcal has five strains and B isn't covered by the national immunisation program.
"That then got the stress going because you're like we didn't know about the other strains, we didn't know they could be protected," said mum Sarah Parkyn.
The SA government has been running a catch-up program offering the meningococcal B vaccine for free.
Health Minister Stephen Wade says the take-up has been strong for babies but not as popular for older children.
"180,000 doses have been distributed. The take ups been particularly strong for babies. We're urging parents of older children and young adults to take advantage of this opportunity," said the Minister.
There have been 22 cases of Meningococcal in SA so far this year with 15 of those cases being the B strain.
The free Meningococcal B vaccine catch up program ends on December 31.