After the tragic death of Quirindi toddler Donald Peach, parents all over the state are questioning the government's vaccination schedule, and the safety of their children.
While 20-month-old Donald was up to date according to the National Immunisation Program, he contracted meningococcal B (MenB), which is not on the schedule, and died in less than 24 hours.
Unfortunately, like thousands of others, Donald's parents were unaware that a MenB vaccine was available.
They have since urged all parents to have their children done, while many others are calling on the government to put the vaccine, Bexsero, on the official program.
Local mother of three Kimberley Squires isn't leaving anything to chance, recently spending $1000 to have her three children, aged between four and eight, vaccinated against both the MenACWY and MenB strains.
"It is so rare, and you would have to be so unlucky, but my feeling is that what if they did get it and I hadn't vaccinated them?" she said.
"I would never forgive myself - I never want to be in the situation where I wished I had done it."
Since July 2017, MenACWY has been on the schedule; however, the federal government has rejected three attempts since 2013 to have Bexsero added.
This is despite the Department of Health website "strongly recommending" that anyone over six weeks of age be vaccinated with Bexsero.
In those rulings the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee questioned the effectiveness of the vaccine and its ability to create herd immunity, or long-term protection.
It stated the $400 million cost didn't stack up and would only prevent an estimated 224 cases of invasive meningococcal disease.
Peel Health primary health care nurse Fiona Shales has noticed a large spike in parents requesting MenB vaccinations in the past 6-12 months, and recommends that all parents consider the option.
"If it comes up in conversation I definitely recommend having the MenB vaccination, simply to safeguard children," she said.
"The hard part is that it is quite rare to contract, but it can cause significant illness, disability and death."
The MenB vaccination is recommended for children aged 12 months to four years, and teens aged 15 and 19 years.
These ages are when the disease can be most prevalent, as it is transmitted by sharing respiratory and throat secretions, with prolonged exposure generally needed.
"Daycare-aged children come into close contact with each other often, and the teenage kids tend to as well, if you know what I mean," Ms Shales said.
"The primary course is two vaccinations two months apart. The vaccines generally cost about $120 each, as well as the nurse fee, which at Peel Health is $15."
Meningococcal disease usually begins with the sudden onset of fever, often with headache, nausea and drowsiness. Neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and a rash of reddish-purple spots or bruises may develop rapidly. Babies with the infection may be irritable, not feed properly and have an abnormal cry.
"If parents have concerns that their children are unwell, please get them reviewed - acting quickly is very important," Ms Shales said.