Why the vaccine was introduced
In recent years, there's been an increase in the number of cases of meningococcal W (MenW) disease in the UK. MenW disease has a higher death rate than other strains of meningitis. In response to this disease outbreak, the MenACWY vaccine was introduced in the UK and Jersey.
Fresher university students have a higher risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may, without knowing, carry meningococcal bacteria at the back of their noses and throats.
This age group is at higher risk of getting meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) from MenW. Both diseases are very serious and can kill if not diagnosed early.
MenACWY vaccine on NHS Choices website
Meningitis on NHS Choices website
Who should have the MenACWY vaccine
Most teenagers in Jersey will have had this vaccine. In November 2015, it was offered to pupils who were, at that time, in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13. Each year since 2015, the vaccine has been routinely offered to pupils in Year 9 (age 13 or 14). Only one MenACWY vaccine dose is required.
If you did not receive the vaccine or if you're unsure
If you're going to university this year for the first time as a fresher and you think you haven't had the vaccine, contact the Immunisation Nurse Specialist who can check your record and arrange vaccination if necessary. This vaccine is not routinely available at GP surgeries.
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 445790
Email the Immunisation Nurse Specialist
Details about the vaccine can be found at School vaccinations page.
Symptoms of meningitis
The early symptoms of meningitis are similar to flu symptoms.
You need to be able to recognise the symptoms very quickly, even if you've been vaccinated, as vaccine can't protect against all forms of the disease.
Meningitis symptoms at Meningitis Now
Meningitis symptoms at Meningitis Research Foundation