Meningitis C Booster Offered To Teenagers In Lothian

The NHS Lothian school nurse team is currently offering the teenage booster vaccination in schools across Lothian as part of the annual immunisation programme.

This year for the first time S3 pupils will also be offered a booster against Meningitis C and Septicaemia at the same time as the traditional teenage booster.

This immunisation finalises routine vaccines for teens, protecting against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio (Td/IPV). These diseases all attack the nervous system and were responsible for many deaths in the UK before the immunisations were introduced.  Four doses of this combined vaccine are given to infants, and this teenage booster is the fifth and final part of the course to allow for longer term protection.

The “MenC” vaccination, which will now accompany the teenage booster, protects against meningococcal group C bacteria which can cause Meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain) and Septicaemia (blood poisoning). The symptoms of both conditions come on very quickly and can cause permanent disability and death.

Children currently receive immunisations against such diseases at a young age. However, research has shown that the length of protection against Meningitis C is increased when a booster dose is given in the early teenage years..

Dr Lorna Willocks, Immunisation Co-ordinator, NHS Lothian said:

“Immunisation is the safest and most effective way to prevent these serious diseases. We are now offering the Meningitis C vaccination at the same time as the teenage booster and we would encourage all young people take this opportunity to protect themselves.”

These booster vaccinations provide fuller protection against meningitis C and other serious diseases before young people leave school and enter further education, employment and the wider world.

Teenage booster vaccination letters and consent forms are being sent home with S3 school pupils across Lothian and parents are urged to ensure young people take advantage of the vaccine and protect themselves from these serious illnesses.