College students heading to college ought to be sure that they’re vaccinated in opposition to 4 doubtlessly lethal varieties of meningitis, well being consultants warned after figures confirmed many younger folks remained unprotected.


The vaccination, MenACWY, protects in opposition to 4 teams of meningococcal micro organism, which naturally dwell in the back of the throat in about one in 10 folks with out making them unwell.

However the micro organism may cause severe sickness, together with meningitis and septicaemia and result in amputations, mind harm and even demise.

The MenACWY jab is routinely supplied alongside the 3-in-1 teenage booster at secondary college when pupils are in 12 months 9 or 10 (aged 13 to fifteen).


However in keeping with the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA), about one in eight of these now sufficiently old to start out faculty or college haven’t had the jab. In 2021-22, 80% of pupils had been vaccinated by the top of 12 months 10, down from 81% the earlier 12 months and 87% in 2019/20 when right this moment’s soon-to-be freshers had been in 12 months 10..

The company is urging college students to make sure they’re updated with free jabs, together with MenACWY, the MMR vaccine to guard in opposition to measles, mumps and rubella, and the HPV vaccine to guard in opposition to ailments together with cervical most cancers.

Dr Shamez Ladhani, a advisor epidemiologist at UKHSA, mentioned: “Yearly we see new and returning college students get critically in poor health, with some tragically dying, from what are preventable ailments.

“With massive numbers of scholars coming collectively from across the nation and abroad for the primary time, and carefully mixing, an infection can unfold simply. Guaranteeing you’re protected in opposition to these lethal bugs is significant.”

UKHSA mentioned disruption from the Covid pandemic affected the school-based immunisation programme, classroom attendance and workers absences.

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In 2021-22 suppliers for 5 native authorities had been unable to supply all kids in 12 months 9 and 10 the vaccinations they had been eligible for. There was appreciable variation in protection by area and native authority.

Claire Wright, of the Meningitis Analysis Basis, mentioned it was essential that younger folks had been conscious of meningitis signs, corresponding to a blotchy rash that didn’t fade when a glass was rolled over it, fever, headache, aching muscular tissues and joints, and a stiff neck. Some strains additionally brought about vomiting and diarrhoea.

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