Young people in Boroondara aged 15-19 are being urged to protect themselves against the rare but potentially fatal Meningococcal W strain with a free vaccine available until 31 December.

The free vaccine program was introduced by the Victorian Government to combat a recent rise in the disease, which can be contracted through regular close, prolonged contact with infected secretions from the back of the nose and throat.

Teenagers and young people have been identified as being at particular risk of sharing and contracting Meningococcal because of their socially interactive lifestyles, which are more likely to involve intimate activities such as kissing and sharing drinks.

And even if a young person was vaccinated against the C strain of Meningococcal as a baby, they are not protected against strains A, W and Y. The vaccine offered through this initiative will ensure they are protected against all four.

Many students in years 10 to 12 have already received the vaccination through their school. However, those who were absent or anyone in this age group who does not attend school is encouraged to receive the free vaccine at a public vaccination session before 31 December 2017.