Home Health Off to uni? Make sure you’re protected against meningitis

Off to uni? Make sure you’re protected against meningitis

by Gemma Melling

If you are heading off to university after picking up A Level results this month, make sure you’re protected from Meningitis before you go by getting your free vaccination.

Local Public Health teams are also urging parents to encourage their teenagers to take up their GP invitation and get the free MenACWY vaccination, particularly if they are going to university for the first time.

Why have the meningitis vaccination?

The MenACWY vaccination offers teenagers protection against meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by four meningococcal strains including MenW.

Older teenagers and university students are at high risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria.

The vaccination is offered in schools to pupils in year 9 and year 11. However all 17 to 18-year-olds should visit their doctors for the injection. As part of a catch up programme from August 2016 those born between 1 September 1996 and 31 August 1997 will be eligible for the vaccine up until the age of 25 from their doctor.

Find out more about the meningitis vaccination

For more information on MenACWY ask your GP or read more on the NHS Choices website.