Meningitis occurs when the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges) become infected.
Meningitis can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults. It can be very serious if not treated quickly. It can cause life-threatening blood poisoning and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
Vaccinations are available that offer some protection against meningitis. Babies and children are vaccinated as part of the childhood immunisation program. For details about the vaccinations babies and children are given click here Childhood Immunisations
Cases of meningitis caused by Men W bacteria have been increasing in recent years due to a particularly deadly strain.
The Men ACWY Vaccine is offered to teenagers, sixth formers and students going to university for the first time around the ages of 14 – 18. It is given in a single injection in the arm and protects against four different strains of the bacteria that cause meningitis (Men) A, C, W and Y.
Older teenagers and new 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 bacteria that causes meningitis at the back of their noses and throats.
We have recently written to all of our registered patients who are in Year 13 inviting them to have the MEN ACWY Vaccination.
Students registered with us who are in school Years 11 & 12 should be getting the vaccination at school. If for some reason this has been missed they should book an appointment with us to have it done at the surgery.
Anyone registered with us aged between 18 – 25 who for any reason has not had MEN ACWY Vaccination is also eligible and should book an appointment with one of our nurses to have the vaccination at the surgery.
For further information about the MEN ACWY Vaccination click on the link NHS Choices – MEN ACWY Vaccination