One life. One shot

We're helping to protect students and young people from deadly meningitis
Start Date
16 Aug 2017

Can you get the FREE MenACWY vaccine?

Use our online vaccine checker now to find out

  • Young people across the UK are being offered free MenACWY vaccine to combat a rapid rise in a deadly strain of MenW (meningococcal W) meningitis and septicaemia.
  • People under the age of 25 going to uni for the first time are also being offered the vaccine.
  • Since August 2015 all 14 to 18 years olds in the UK are being offered MenACWY vaccine.  This is part of a one off catch-up vaccination campaign due to a rapid rise in a harmful strain of meningococcal group W (MenW) disease. 
  • The catch up vaccination campaign was completed within one year in Scotland and Northern Ireland and is being completed within two years in England and Wales. There is no MenACWY vaccination programme in the Republic of Ireland.

Why you need to have the MenACWY vaccine

  • MenW is rising rapidly. Cases have been nearly doubling each year, so MenACWY vaccine was introduced in 2015.
  • MenW is a particularly virulent strain. It causes severe disease in healthy young people and is harder to spot and more likely to kill than other strains.
  • Vaccination with MenACWY also protects you against other strains. You'll also be protected against MenA, MenC and MenY meningitis and septicaemia. 
  • Getting vaccinated will help stop the spread of MenW. This means that other people are less likely to get MenW, including your friends and family. 
  • You are at greater risk of getting MenW. Teenagers and young adults have a higher risk than other age groups.  
  • Young people going on to university are particularly at risk because they mix with so many other students, some of whom are unknowingly carrying the meningitis bacteria. Students should arrange to get the MenACWY vaccine from their GP at least two weeks before they go away to study. 
  • If you live in London, you may be able to get the MenACWY vaccine free at your local pharmacy. Pharmacies offering the vaccine are listed on the following website which also details other available vaccines, such as the flu vaccine:
Vaccination with MenACWY vaccine will protect you and stop the spread of this virulent strain.
Read more about the rise in cases of MenW
Sophie contracted MenW when she was 21​
Sharon Sandell lost her teenage daughter, Lauren, to MenW​

Sharon Sandell lost her teenage daughter, Lauren, to MenW

Want to know more?

MenACWY vaccine can't protect you against all forms of bacterial meningitis, so it's still important to Know the Symptoms

Problems accessing MenACWY vaccine?

We have been contacted by students and other young people who have had difficulty getting the MenACWY vaccine from their GP.

The NHS has sent information to GPs about the vaccine and so most GPs should be offering it to those who are eligible.

If you experience difficulties please:
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The stories that inspire us to create a world free from meningitis and septicaemia
Meningitis and septicaemia are serious, life threatening illnesses

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