A 16-month-old boy from metropolitan Adelaide has died from invasive meningococcal disease soon after health officials announced the infection last week.

 Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC
Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC

The child, Charlie Joshua Mason, passed away from the lethal infection, suspected of being meningococcal serogroup B, according to a Women’s Weekly report.

The death has prompted questions as to why vaccines for two of the deadly meningococcal strains are not freely available on the National Immunization Program.

Meningococcal Australia director Eliza Ault-Connell told the Adelaide Advertiser that she is urging the Government to make the B vaccine free and to take note of the emerging W-strain.

There have been 21 cases of invasive meningococcal disease reported in South Australia this year, compared to 27 cases recorded at the same time last year.

A total of 30 cases were reported in 2015.