Men ACWY Vaccine

Cases of meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by Men W bacteria are rising due to a particularly deadly strain. 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 highest risk of meningitis is in the first year of university, particularly the first few months. As this vaccine is being targeted at those at the highest risk, students in their second year or above at university are not included in this vaccination programme.

Cases of meningitis and septicaemia due to Men W have been increasing in England, from 22 cases in 2009 to 117 in 2014. The increase seems to be speeding up in 2015, caused by an aggressive strain of the bug.

With early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment, most people with meningococcal disease make a full recovery. However, it is fatal in about 1 in 10 cases and can lead to long-term health problems, such as amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties. Men W infections are particularly severe and usually need to be treated in intensive care. They have a higher death rate than the more common Men C and Men B strains.

How to get the vaccination

Young teenagers who are in year 9 or 10 at school will be offered the vaccine in school as part of the routine adolescent schools programme alongside the 3-in-1 teenage booster, as a direct replacement for the Men C Vaccination.

If you are aged 17 and 18 and in school year 13, you would have received a letter from the medical centre inviting you in for the vaccination.

If you are a student going to university or college for the first time as a fresher, including overseas and mature students up to the age of 25, please contact us 01364 642534 to arrange an appointment for the vaccination, you should ideally do this before the start of your academic year.


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