06 September 2023
Students heading off to university are being urged to check they are up to date with their meningitis (MenACWY) vaccine before they leave the Island.
The free vaccine is routinely offered to teenagers in year 9 at school. Those who missed out will be able to attend a catch-up clinic next week. The vaccine is also available to Islanders up to the age of 25 and those who are not of yet university age but also missed out.
Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and can be associated with septicaemia. It can be life threatening unless diagnosed and treated early. Older teenagers and new university students are at higher risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, who may unknowingly carry the bacteria which causes the virus.
The clinic will be at the Outpatients Department at the Hospital, 5:30pm-7:30pm on Wednesday 13 September and vaccines will be given in a single injection in the upper arm.
Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: "It is important that those attending university get this vaccine before they jet off as the risk of contracting meningitis rises when mixing with new people. The vaccine is extremely effective in protecting against this illness and I fully urge those who missed out in year 9 to take up this offer."
Islanders are asked to contact the Immunisation Specialist Lead Nurse on 01534 445790 for further information and to book an appointment. Anyone who is leaving for university before Wednesday is encouraged to get in touch before they leave.