Posted on: November 6th 2017Information for Parents

Reminder: Meningococcal ACWY vaccine available

Young people born between 01/09/1998-31/08/1999 are now eligible for urgent catch-up with the MenACWY vaccination. The vaccine helps protect young people against meningococcal disease which can cause meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Since 2009, there has been a large increase in group W meningococcal (MenW) disease in England, resulting in several deaths in young people. Young people who are not vaccinated are at risk of getting MenW disease, so it is crucial that they are vaccinated to protect themselves and others around them. The vaccine is available from GP practices; as such, GPs are now in the process of inviting young people to receive the vaccine.

To find out more about the MenACWY vaccination, visit the NHS Choices website. Public Health England.

What are the symptoms of meningitis?

Symptoms of meningitis develop suddenly and can include:

  • A high temperature (fever) over 37.5C
  • A stiff neck
  • A headache
  • A dislike of bright lights
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Drowsiness

Meningitis can occur with septicaemia. Symptoms of septicaemia include:

  • Sleepiness, being less responsive or confused
  • Severe muscle pains
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Rapid breathing 

Another symptom to look for is red or purple spots that don’t fade when under pressure. Find out how to do the glass test to check for this on the Meningitis Now website.

If you or someone you know gets one or more of the symptoms above, get help from a GP or emergency department urgently.

For more information contact: in the Public Health team

or in Public Health England