Meningitis vaccine file picture

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Younger individuals beginning college or school this autumn are being urged to get a vaccine in opposition to meningitis.

Public Well being England says the jab will assist defend in opposition to meningitis W specifically – a generally lethal pressure that’s on the rise.

Officers say new college students are in danger as they usually combine intently with teams of unfamiliar individuals – some who could unknowingly carry the bug.

Scotland and Wales have additionally renewed calls for college students to take up the jab.

The injection – often known as the Males ACWY vaccine – was first launched for brand spanking new college college students within the UK final yr.

‘Extremely aggressive’

It protects in opposition to the A, C, Y and W strains of the illness – all kinds that may trigger loss of life or incapacity.

However well being specialists say they’re notably involved about “a extremely aggressive pressure” of meningitis W micro organism.

Some 22 individuals obtained meningitis W in 2009 in England, in contrast with virtually 200 individuals within the final 12 months.

Meningitis W an infection is deadly in a single in 10 circumstances and may result in long-term well being issues together with deafness, epilepsy and amputations.

‘Horrific side-effects’

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Amy Davis

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Amy spent three weeks in intensive care with Meningitis W

Amy Davis, 24, from Surrey, obtained meningitis W when she was 18 years previous – earlier than the MenACWY vaccine programme was launched.

She mentioned: “At first I believed I had the flu and felt very drained. However by the following day, I used to be coated in a rash, felt extraordinarily unwell and was rushed to hospital.

“I spent three weeks in intensive care on life-support. My organs failed, and my household was advised I used to be probably the most unwell individual within the hospital.”

The an infection unfold to her bloodstream and bones and broken her toes. She had toes on each toes amputated, and later her left leg was additionally amputated.

She added: “I might encourage everybody to get the vaccine who can.

“It takes simply 5 minutes, and is only one injection that may save your life or prevent from getting horrific side-effects.”

GPs in England are inviting 17 and 18-year-olds to return for a vaccine. First-time college students beneath the age of 25 are eligible too.

Individuals who missed out on the jab final yr also needs to see their physician, specialists say.

‘Save lives’

And although college students are the main target of the marketing campaign, different younger individuals are strongly suggested to get the jab – whether or not they’re planning on attending college or school or not.

Dr Mary Ramsay, at Public Well being England, mentioned college students wanted to stay vigilant to indicators of the illness.

She added: “Defending younger individuals from this doubtlessly lethal illness as they embark upon one of the necessary durations of their lives is vitally necessary.

“The vaccination will save lives and stop lifelong devastating incapacity.”

In the meantime Liz Brown, on the charity Meningitis Now, mentioned individuals should not get complacent about the specter of meningitis.

She added: “As much as 1 / 4 of scholars carry the micro organism that may trigger meningitis in comparison with one in 10 of the final inhabitants.

“Within the UK, each college may expertise no less than one case of meningitis amongst its college students throughout the first time period.”

The vaccine can also be being rolled out for youthful youngsters at college throughout the UK.

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Amy Davis


  • Meningitis is an an infection of the meninges – the membranes that encompass the mind and spinal twine
  • Meningococcal micro organism are frequent and carried harmlessly within the nostril or throat by about one in 10 individuals
  • They’re handed on by means of shut contact
  • Signs embody a excessive fever with chilly fingers and toes, agitation, confusion, vomiting and complications
  • Sufferers shouldn’t await a rash to develop earlier than in search of medical assist