Public Health England expects new meningococcal vaccination program to save lives
The new program will also protect teenagers from four different meningococcal strains, such as MenW.
“We know that there has been a steady and rapid increase in the MenW strain of meningococcal disease since 2009 in the student population,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer John Watson said. “Which is why from today, GP’s will be inviting teenagers who are eligible to come in to get the vaccine. We are encouraging all 17 to 18 year olds to make an appointment, and it is particularly important for those who are heading to university.”
Now all teenagers between the ages of 17 and 18, or born between September 1996 and August 1997, will be asked about receiving the vaccine.
“We must all remain alert to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek urgent medical attention if there is any concern,” Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at PHE, said. “The disease develops rapidly and early symptoms can include headache, vomiting, muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet. Be aware of all signs and symptoms and trust your instincts -- don’t wait for a rash to develop before seeking urgent medical attention.”