31/03/2016

16 To 18 Year Olds Urged To Get Free Meningitis Vaccine

The meningitis vaccination is now being offered free to 16 to 18 year olds in Northern Ireland.

Starting in April, GPs will invite people born between 02 July 1997 and 01 July 1999 to have the MenACWY vaccine, according to the Public Health Agency (PHA).
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Dr Lucy Jessop, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said: "Older teenagers are at higher risk of getting Meningococcal W disease (MenW), so you need to get vaccinated to help protect yourself. It will also reduce the risk of you carrying the bacteria, therefore offering better protection to those around you. MenW was generally rare in the UK, but there has been an increase in cases in recent years.

"Even if you have recently had the MenC vaccine, for example in school, you should still get the MenACWY vaccine. It will increase your protection against MenC and provide protection against the three other meningococcal groups.

"The vaccine will be administered in a phased approach so don’t worry if you don’t hear from your GP straight away. We would say, however, that if you are in the eligible age group and have had no communication from you GP by July, contact them and arrange an appointment."

(CD)

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