Q Fever Information & Vaccine Guide
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About The Q Fever Vaccine

There is an effective vaccine against Q fever, however it has significant side effects in persons who have already had Q fever ( local abscesses and even Q fever symptoms)

Before vaccination, a person must have three things:

  • A blood test
  • A skin test
  • A detailed history

These tests are undertaken to help avoid unwanted vaccine side effects . If one of the tests is positive, it means the subject would probably react badly to the vaccine.

Blood test and skin test need to be done on the SAME DAY. Then the person needs to return to the same doctor 7 days later to have the skin test read.

If both tests are negative, the person is vaccinated. It then takes about 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective. This means persons vaccinated should not put themselves at risk ( e.g. visit abottoir) for 2 weeks after vaccination.

Each individual would discuss their particular situation at the time of screening. The vaccination is effective, and lasts for life.

We recommend persons who are vaccinated opt to be placed on the the Q Fever Register. This register holds a copy of all the Q Fever vaccination records of those who wish to be included. All persons on the register will receive a card documenting their Q Fever status. This card is often requested before entering workplaces where there is a risk of Q Fever.

Side Effects Of Vaccine

Up to half of those vaccinated will have a sore arm for a few days

About one in ten will develop general symptoms such as headache, fever, chills and minor sweating.

A strange effect that is quite rare occurs in some persons who had very little effect immediately after vaccination. They notice the injections site becomes hard and tender 1 - 8 months after the vaccination. The site of the original skin test may also become positive. The lumps gradually shrink and disappear without treatment. This is more common in women, and is a result of a late developing immune response.

If there is any doubt about side effects, contact the doctor who gave you the vaccine.

Where To Get The Vaccine?

Not all doctors can give Q fever vaccination as it requires specialised expertise and complicated pre-vaccination screening. Group vaccination is advisable to keep costs down.

Costs of Q Fever protection

The approximate cost for blood and skin testing, medical consultations and vaccine is about $380-$480 over two visits. There is no medicare rebate on the Q fever Blood test.

The Consultation to have a Q fever vaccine is not covered by medicare if you have a job where you will be at risk of Q fever ( "employed in an industrial undertaking and that service is rendered for the purposes related to the operation of the undertaking").

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