Australia

Tas meningococcal victim missed vaccine

Sarah Rose Beltz died from septic shock after failing to get a meningococcal vaccination injection. (AAP)

A Hobart teenage girl who died after contracting meningococcal disease had missed school the day vaccines for the bacteria were administered.

A Tasmanian teenager who died after contracting meningococcal disease had missed school the day vaccines for the bacteria were administered.

Hobart's Sarah Rose Beltz, 16, died from septic shock after contracting the disease in July 2018.

She had been absent from school in March when vaccines were administered, a coroner noted on Tuesday.

"Had she (received the vaccine) then undoubtedly it would have saved her life," coroner Simon Cooper found.

Once she fell seriously ill, it took just hours before she died.

"Nothing could be done for Sarah and she passed away within a very short time,' Mr Cooper said.

The bacterial disease is transmitted via mucus and can live harmlessly in the human throat and nose, with many people carrying the bacteria without becoming ill.

But young people who develop it can become extremely unwell and quickly die.

After Sarah's death the Tasmanian government introduced free immunisation against meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y for anyone born after August 1, 1997.

It replaced a program of free vaccines against the W strain only.

The coroner recommended the program be extended to include the meningococcal B strain vaccine.

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