TEENAGERS in the area are being invited to take a new vaccination which health experts believe will save lives.
Public Health England (PHE) in the West Midlands is welcoming the start of the new MenACWY vaccination programme which aims to protect people against meningitis – inflammation of the brain – and septicaemia – blood poisoning.
All adolescents born between September 1, 1996 and August 31, 1997 in England are eligible for vaccination regardless of their future plans.
Anyone planning to go to university this year are being urged by Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, to get vaccinated before they leave.
She said this group are at an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease, as many of them will be mixing closely with lots of new people.
“We’re encouraging all eligible teenagers to take-up the offer of vaccination when they are contacted by their GP,” Dr Ramsey said.
“If you’re planning to go to university or college, you should be vaccinated before the start of the academic term or before leaving home for university or college – ideally two weeks in advance.
“Please make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible when the vaccine is offered.
“First time university entrants from 19 to 24 years of age inclusive should also contact their GP for the vaccination.
“Meningitis can be deadly and survivors are often left with severe disabilities as a result of this terrible disease. This vaccine will save lives and prevent permanent disability.”