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Government Rolls Out Free Vaccines After Viral Outbreak

New South Wales Health have rolled out free meningococcal vaccines to schools throughout the state after six people in 18 months died from the deadly virus.

The jab, which usually costs $100, has been made available free of charge since May in an effort to stop it from spreading due to pressure from Meningococcal Australia, according to The Daily Telegraph.

As a result, more than 100,000 high school students will be immunised.

"By vaccinating those who can be, it provides those who are unable to be immunised with protection," health district public health unit acting director Kate Alexander said. "We call it herd immunity."

There have been 48 cases of meningococcal in New South Wales since the beginning of the year, including 12 in July alone.

Eleven of those diagnosed lived in western Sydney.

Meningococcal is a rare but dangerous form of meningitis in which the brain and spinal cord become inflamed; it can be picked up through respiratory secretions, and spreads via coughing and kissing.

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