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5 Facts About Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

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1. Who gets it?
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All year 9 pupils will be offered Meningitis ACWY. This is given as one injection. Have a look at Immunisation in Secondary Schools

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2. Why do I need it?
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The MenACWY is a new vaccine in the routine immunisation programme from 2015 that protects against 4 different types of meningitis. Depending on your age this vaccine maybe offered in school or by your GP practice. It maybe given at the same time as the teenage booster vaccination.

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3. What will it protect me against?
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It will protect you against A, C, W and Y strains of meningitis. There are different types of meningitis but these are among the most common ones.

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4. What's meningitis?
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Meningitis is swelling of the lining of the brain caused by a virus, bacteria, or other disease-causing organism, and could also be as a result of an injury. As well as meningitis, a meningococcal infection can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can be very serious, and life threatening especially if not treated quickly.

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5. The most important signs to look out for meningitis
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  • A stiff neck, pain in the back or joints
  • A very bad headache
  • Lights hurting your eyes
  • Feeling sick or being sick
  • A high temperature and shivering
  • Very sleepy and drowsy
  • Very cold hands and feet
  • Red or purple spots that appear on your body and don’t fade under pressure – It’s important to do the glass test: Press the glass against the skin. If the spots disappear seek medical advice by calling 111, going to your Doctor, walk-in centre or accident and emergency. IF THE RED SPOTS DO NOT DISAPPEAR CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY.

how to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.