Meningitis Vaccine

Meningococcal disease is caused by the meningococcal bacteria and results in four strains of the illness known as A, C, W and Y.  The ACWY vaccine protects against all four types of meningitis and is available at our Travel vaccinations clinic in Epsom.  The Meningococcal ACWY vaccine has proved highly effective against the bacterial strain of the disease which is the most serious. 

Meningococcal disease is relatively rare but causes life-threatening illness – meningitis and septicaemia – which in turn, can trigger sepsis.  Meningitis affects the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord and requires urgent hospital admission as a medical emergency.  The mortality rate is around 30% and 50% of sufferers are left with long-term issues after they recover.  If it does not result in death, meningitis will usually cause life-changing disablement such as limb amputations, hearing loss and brain damage.

What are the symptoms of Meningitis?

The symptoms of meningitis are quite distinctive but in the early stages, can mimic other illnesses like a nasty virus.  Identifying the illness quickly is key to preventing its progression and avoiding some of the damage it can cause.  Symptoms can include:

  • fever or raised temperature
  • headache often with a stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light
  • chilled extremities so cold hands and feet
  • a rash that does not fade under pressure, this can be tested quite easily with a glass

Treatment for Meningitis

There are several types of bacteria which cause this type of meningitis including Group B Streptococcus and Streptococcus Pneumoniae.  Treatment is with high doses of antibiotics.

Who should have the MenACWY vaccine?

Older teenagers and young people who are moving around through travel or placements at University are at a higher risk of infection because they are mixing with new groups of people.  The Meningitis Research Foundation has an eligibility checker so you can see the target groups for the Meningitis ACWY vaccine.

Miles Pharmacy can offer the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine at our Travel Clinic in Epsom.  We don’t just vaccinate for foreign travel and holidays abroad, check out what we offer at www.milespharmacy.co.uk