Get information about meningitis for you and your patients and stay informed of recent changes that may impact your practice:
It has been a busy 12 months for meningitis prevention. In particular around meningococcal disease: the cause of around 50% of all bacterial meningitis:
MenC booster for freshers
- Students starting university this year, up to the age of 25, should receive a MenC booster
Invite prospective university students for their MenC injection before they head off to university or take the opportunity to vaccinate them should they attend surgery for any other reason up until 31 October 2014.
To get the best protection, students should be vaccinated at least two weeks before they start university but if they miss out they can get vaccinated through the university’s health centre.
The booster only applies to students attending a higher education establishment that is a member of UCAS – the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
New starters of any age who have never been immunised against MenC should also be vaccinated. Older students who were immunised against MenC at school as part of the 1999-2001 catch up campaign should still be protected and do not need a booster dose.
MenC immunisation schedule
- Babies at 3 months receive a single dose followed by a 12-month booster
- Babies can receive either NeisVac-C® or Menjugate® at 3 months, but should not be vaccinated with Meningitec
- Teenagers now receive a booster dose at around 14 years of age
The MenC immunisation schedule changed in July 2013 from 2+1 schedule at 3, 4 and 12 months of age to a single dose at 3 months followed by a 12 month booster and a teenage booster at around 14 years of age.Reasons why the changes took place
- The new MenB vaccine is licensed in Europe and has been recommended for use in the UK
- The MenB vaccine is available privately for those who wish to protect their children
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended the vaccine to be introduced into the routine immunisation schedule provided that the Department of Health can procure the vaccine at a cost effective price.
Negotiations between the Department of Health and the vaccine manufacturer Novartis are underway. We hope to see the vaccine rolled out as part of the infant schedule in Spring 2015 to babies at 2, 4 and 12 months of age.
Proposed MenB programme
- The JCVI has suggested a catch up campaign for babies who are 3 and 4 months of age
- Babies aged 3 months will receive three doses at 3, 4 and 12 months of age
- Babies aged 4 months receive two doses at 4 and 12 months
Babies and children who are older than 4 months by the time the vaccine is rolled out will not be offered the vaccine on the NHS. It would remain available privately for parents and carers who want to immunise older children.
Childhood fever: NICE update
- NICE have produced a new quality standard for feverish illness in children
- NICE's feverish illness in children clinical guidance has been updated to include raised heart rate in the traffic light system for identifying risk of serious illness in children
Read the following Clinical guidelines (CG) and Quality Standard (QS):
Feverish illness in children: Assessment and initial management in children younger than 5 years. Clinical Guideline (CG) 160 and Quality Standard (QS) 64. This guideline was updated and replaced NICE clinical guideline 47 (published May 2007) in May 2013
Produced in July 2014 and identifies four high priority areas for improvement in the assessment of feverish illness in children
- CG102 and QS19
Bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia: Management of bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia in children and young people younger than 16 years in primary and secondary care.
Information for your patients
NICE QS64 and QS19 both prioritise the provision of safety net advice for parents including information on when to seek further help if they have been advised to care for their feverish child at home.
These commended resources can be useful for parents as part of the safety netting information provided by GPs:
All of our resources are produced in consultation with a wide range of medical experts:
Meningococcal Meningitis and Septicaemia
Endorsed by the BMA and produced in line with the NICE Bacterial Meningitis and Meningococcal Septicaemia Guideline102.
Meningitis is still a threat
Help save lives this winter by
promoting the signs and
Waiting room resources
Dr Hilary Jones
Presents our symptoms video:
Broadcaster Kirsty Young
Presented our BBC Radio 4 Appeal for Action Meningitis - our unique health intervention in Malawi:
This beautiful boy was tragically taken from us