Young people urged to get vaccinated against Meningitis ACWY

Teenagers in Edinburgh and Lothians are being urged to get vaccinated against a deadly new strain of Meningitis.

MenW is a particularly dangerous type of Meningitis infection with cases on the rise across the country.

Teenagers are at a greater risk of getting Meningitis and high school vaccination clinics are now underway across the area.

S3 pupils are routinely offered the Meningitis ACWY jab as part of their teenage vaccination programme and pupils in S4- S6 are now also being offered the vaccination.

Dr Lorna Willocks, Consultant in Public Health, NHS Lothian, said: “I would strongly recommend that if you are in S3 to S6 that you get this vaccine.

“Nobody wants to get Meningitis. I know teenagers have a lot on their plates at the moment, busy with prelims and exams, but it doesn’t take long and it really will provide you with good protection against what can be a fatal disease.”

Consent forms have been sent out to all S3 to S6 high school pupils in Edinburgh and the Lothians and these must be signed and returned to the school nurse prior to getting the vaccine.

Fiona Christie, School Nurse Team Leader for South West Edinburgh, said: “It’s important we get the consent forms filled in and returned to us as soon as possible.

“I know that some young people might be anxious and a bit scared about getting a jab but it really is over in a second and I would urge you to get vaccinated.

“There’s loads of information on the NHS Lothian website if you want to find out more and there are numbers on the consent forms if you want to contact your school nurse or the community vaccination teams directly.”

Chloe Elvin (17) is a sixth year pupil from Wester Hailes Education Centre.

Chloe recently received her MenACWY vaccine and she hopes that others should follow her lead. Chloe said: “I found it completely painless, I’ve had previous vaccines and this was probably the least painful of the lot.

“The nurses were lovely and they make you feel really relaxed. It’s over and done in just a few minutes. I thought, why take the risk of getting seriously ill when you can get a quick vaccine that protects you.”

There will be a further opportunity for people who have missed their school clinics and wish to get the vaccine. Dates and locations will be given to high schools in the next few weeks and pupils should contact their school nurse.

For more information about the MenACWY vaccine visit: http://www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/HealthInformation/Immunisation/Pages/MeningitisACWY.aspx
19/02/2016