UK secondary schools initiate meningitis vaccination program

The campaign, called #StoptheSpread, is designed to further protect young people in the U.K. | File photo

Health officials from the United Kingdom recently initiated a vaccination campaign in the nation’s secondary schools to guarantee that all high school and college students have protection from septicaemia and meningitis.

These diseases are the result of A, C, W and Y meningococcal bacteria, known as MenACWY.

The campaign, called #StoptheSpread, is designed to further protect young people in the U.K. This is important because adolescents are the most likely to suffer from these diseases.

“We launched #StoptheSpread to encourage all teenagers at secondary school and those going to university for the first time to make sure they are protected against this deadly strain of meningitis and septicaemia,” Meningitis Research Foundation CEO Vinny Smith said. “We have been working with secondary schools and universities to ensure they know how vital it is to get this vaccination.”

Beginning in August 2015, health care workers began to offer the MenACWY vaccine to adolescents born from Sept. 1, 1996 to Aug. 31, 2002. Anyone under 25 and attending university for their first time is asked to receive the vaccine.

“Although we welcome the implementation of the MenACWY vaccine among 13- to 18-year-olds over the next couple of years, it will take time for herd protection to be established,” Smith said. “So babies, who are particularly vulnerable to developing disease will remain unprotected. Fortunately, the MenB vaccine Bexsero, which has been routinely available for babies since September 2015, has been shown to provide protection against Men W ST-11.”

Organizations in this story

Meningitis Research Foundation Bristol, South Gloucestershire BS35 2BS

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