Meningococcal disease in easy English

Print version

Free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for all young people in Tasmania

  1. Meningococcal disease is bad
    • It makes you very sick, very quickly.
    • You can die from it.
  2. Be safe, see your doctor and get vaccinated
    • In Tasmania, people born after 1 August 1997 and at least six weeks  old
      can get a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine until the end of 2018.
    • Visit your doctor or if you are 10 years old and up to
      21 years old, you can get the vaccine from some chemists or some
      council clinics.
  3. What happens when you go for the vaccine?
    • You need to sign a form to show you agree to have the vaccine.
    • You can ask for help with the form.
    • If you have questions, ask the nurse or doctor.


    • The nurse or doctor will give you a needle in your arm. It might sting. Your arm might be sore for a few days.
  4. Wait 15 minutes afterwards
    • You must stay for 15 minutes after having the needle
      to make sure you are OK.
  5. Stay well

Do I or my child have meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease can make you very sick, very quickly.

You might have:

  • a fever (high temperature)
  • a bad headache
  • bad pains in the legs and body
  • a stiff neck
  • drowsiness (hard to wake up)
  • confusion
  • new red or purple spots on the skin.

It can make babies:

  • cry a lot
  • be hard to wake up
  • go floppy, limp and pale
  • refuse to feed.

If you think you or your child has this disease, don’t wait.

Call your doctor or HealthDirect (phone 1800 022 222) or go to hospital.

If the doctor sends you home but you get worse, go back or go to hospital.

If you want to know more go to or call 1800 671 738.

July 2018