Mid-Derbyshire MP calls for greater meningitis vaccine take-up

Pauline Latham OBE MP was pleased to attend a Parliamentary event to raise awareness for Meningitis and promote the take-up of the Meningitis ACWY vaccine. (The MenACWY vaccine protects against four different strains of the meningococcal bacteria that cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia): A, C, W and Y).

This event, which was hosted by the charity ‘Meningitis Now,’ highlighted the importance of encouraging young people to protect themselves from Meningitis ACWY by having the necessary vaccination.

The Meningitis ACWY vaccine is available for free to all school leavers aged between 17 and 18, and first time university students up to the age of 25. 

There is concern that the take up of the vaccination is low, with only 33% of those eligible for the vaccine having it done.  This leaves an estimated 1.5 million young people vulnerable.  It should be noted that Meningitis W cases continue to rise with 210 cases last year, compared to 176 cases in 2015-16.  

Pauline said, “I am delighted to have signed up to promote meningitis awareness and encourage all young people to get this free vaccination.

I am very concerned at the low uptake of the vaccine.  Meningitis is an awful disease.  It is vital that we do everything we can to prevent young people from contracting meningitis and the best way to do this is through getting the vaccination.  Young people must be aware that the vaccine is available to them for free.

I would encourage all local schools, universities and healthcare providers to encourage young people within their contact and care to ensure that they are protected!”