The state government has extended its free meningococcal vaccination program for year 10 students and teenagers aged 15 to 16 until the end of the year.

The program will be available at secondary schools, GP clinics and council immunisation sessions until December 31.

There were 89 cases of meningococcal diagnosed in Victoria in 2017, including 27 cases in the northern and western metropolitan region of Melbourne, which includes Wyndham, Melton, Hobsons Bay, Brimbank and Maribyrnong.

As of March 16 this year, eight cases of meningococcal have been diagnosed in Victoria.

Meningococcal disease can cause inflammation of the membrane covering the brain, blood infections and severe infections in joints, throat, lungs and intestines.

The disease can develop quickly and can cause serious illness, permanent disability or death. One in 10 cases of meningococcal disease prove to be fatal, with death occurring within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis.

The government program offers a vaccine to protect against four strains of meningococcal disease.

To find out more about meningococcal disease or the free vaccine program, visit