Students reminded to take up meningitis vaccination this summer
We're encouraging school leavers to get their Meningitis and MMR vaccinations.
The MenACWY vaccine is being offered by GP practices to all year 13 school leavers.
The vaccine helps protect against four strains of meningococcal disease − meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y - which can cause meningitis and septicaemia.
These are both serious conditions that can kill in hours and those who recover may be left severely disabled.
Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart, said:
"Although some students may have had a MenC vaccination previously, they should still have their free MenACWY vaccine as this gives the extra protection needed.
"Students should be vaccinated as soon as reasonably possible and before they go on to further or higher education.
"Older teenagers and new university students are at a high risk of infection because they will be mixing with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria.
"The highest risk of meningitis is in the first year of university, particularly during the first few weeks.
"That's why it is so important for all young people to get their vaccination before they leave for college or university."
Cases of meningitis and septicaemia due to Men W have been increasing in England, from 23 cases in 2009 to 176 in 2015. The increase is caused by an aggressive strain of the bug.
Men W infections are particularly severe and usually need to be treated in intensive care.
The MMR vaccine helps protect against measles mumps and rubella and, if not up to date, young people should get this at the same appointment.
Students going to university or college for the first time, including overseas and mature students up to the age of 25, should contact their GP to get their vaccinations.