Meningitis and Septicaemia
What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Both diseases are very serious and can kill, especially if not diagnosed early.
The early symptoms of meningococcal disease are similar to those of flu, so you need to be able to recognise the symptoms very quickly (even if you have been vaccinated, the vaccines offered through the routine immunisation programme do not protect against all forms of the disease).
Who does it affect?
Meningococcal disease can affect all age groups, but the highest rates of disease are in children under five years of age, with the peak incidence in those under one year of age. There is a second peak in incidence in young adolescents aged 15 to 19 years.
Meningitis ACWY (Meningitis and Septicaemia)
A catch – up programme offering a MenACWY vaccination to every pupil from years 10 to 13 is starting in general practice from August and in schools from September 2015 onwards.
So if you are in school years 9 to 13 (aged 13 to 18 years). You need to get the MenACWY vaccination before you leave school or soon after.
Further details on this vaccination can be found at: www.gov.im/meningitisACWY
From 1 September 2015 all infants born on or after the 1 July 2015 will be eligible for the meningococcal B vaccine which will be administered together with the other primary immunisations at 2 months, 4 months and 12 months.
There will also be a catch-up programme for infants born from 1 May 2015 to the 30 June 2015.
Further details on this vaccination can be found at: www.gov.im/meningitisB
The Meningitis C vaccination will continue to be offered at three months of age and a booster at 12-13 months.
The adolescent booster, offered at 13-14 years will be Meninigitis ACWY vaccination which has replaced Meningitis C for this age group.
Further details on this vaccination can be found at: www.gov.im/meningitisC