Men ACWY Vaccine
Young teenagers, sixth formers and university students are now routinely offered a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease.
The Men ACWY vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia – meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.
All 17- and 18-year-olds in school year 13 and first-time university students up to the age of 25 are eligible for the Men ACWY vaccine as part of the NHS vaccination programme.
The practice will be sending letters inviting 17-and 18-year-olds in school year 13 to have the Men ACWY vaccine at the surgery.
Students going away to university or college for the first time should contact their GP to have the Men ACWY vaccine, ideally before the start of the academic year.
Younger teenagers (school year 9 or 10) will be offered the Men ACWY vaccine in school as part of the routine adolescent schools programme alongside the 3-in-1 teenage booster, and as a direct replacement for the Men C vaccination.
More information about the vaccine can be found on the NHS Choices website
Men B Vaccine
Meningococcal group B bacteria is a serious cause of life-threatening infections, including meningitis and blood poisoning, worldwide and the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK.
England is the first country in the world to offer a national, routine and publicly funded Men B vaccination programme which is being offered to babies as part of the routine NHS childhood vaccination programme.
There is also a temporary catch-up programme for babies who are due their 3- and 4-month vaccinations in September 2015, to protect them when they are most at risk from infection.
The Men B vaccine is offered to babies alongside their other routine vaccinations at 2 months, 4 months and 12 months and is given as a single injection into the baby’s thigh. It can also be given at the same time as other routine baby vaccinations.
The vaccine will protect your baby against infection by meningococcal group B bacteria, which are responsible for more than 90% of meningococcal infections in young children.
The surgery will automatically send you an appointment for you to bring your baby for their Men B vaccination alongside the other routine vaccinations.
For more information about which babies should have the vaccine, click here
Men B Vaccine Safety
Like all vaccines, the Men B vaccine can cause side effects, but studies suggest they are generally mild and don’t last long. Since the vaccine was licensed, almost a million doses have been given, with no safety concerns identified.
Babies given the Men B vaccine alongside their other routine vaccinations at two and four months are likely to develop fever within the first 24 hours after vaccination.
It’s important that you give your baby liquid paracetamol following vaccination to reduce the risk of fever but the practice nurse will give you more information about this at your appointment.
Other common side effects include irritability and redness and tenderness at the injection site. The liquid paracetamol will also help with these symptoms.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus) in people who have previously had chickenpox. A vaccine to prevent shingles, is now available on the NHS to certain people in their 70s.
The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection and, Unlike the flu jab, you’ll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year.
For more information about both shingles and the vaccination programme please click here