The free meningococcal vaccine program is available until the end of the year to Victorian teens aged 15 or 16. It's available through school immunisation sessions, your local council or doctor.
In 10 per cent of cases meningococcal disease is fatal, with death occurring within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis. About a fifth of people who survive the disease are left with permanent disability such as brain damage, or the loss of fingers, toes or limbs.
Young people aged 15 or 16 are most likely to be carriers and are therefore at greater risk of spreading it to others.
You can find out more about the vaccine on the Better Health Channel.