"Around 1 in 5 teenagers harmlessly carry meningococcal bacteria in the back of the nose and throat, but it is quite unusual for the bacteria to invade the body and cause disease.
“Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person by close contact with others such as coughing, sneezing, kissing etc. However, usually we have to be in very close or regular contact with someone for the bacteria to pass between us. Even when this happens, most of us will not become ill.
“We encourage everyone to take up the offer of the vaccines that are available to them to protect themselves and their families. However, there are not yet vaccines available to prevent all forms of the disease so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.”
Young people up to the age of 25 are strongly encouraged to check if they have had or are eligible for the MenACWY vaccination. This protects against four types of meningitis. Immunisation against group B meningococcal (MenB) (the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK) is currently only given to babies.
Rob continues: “Meningitis Research Foundation continues to support research which we hope will help unlock wider access to the MenB vaccine.”
Anyone can check whether they are eligible for the MenACWY vaccine using our eligibility checker. Anyone with questions or concerns can look at our online support and get in touch with MRF’s free helpline on 0808 8003344.