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Teenagers offered free vaccines to protect against meningitis, diphtheria, tetanus and polio

By 22nd March 2024No Comments

Year nine students across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are being offered free vaccines to protect them against meningitis, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

Our School Aged Immunisation Team is visiting schools over the next few weeks to vaccinate year nine students against these diseases.

Meningitis, sepsis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) are very serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses that can lead to life-changing disabilities, such as amputations, hearing loss and brain damage.

The Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccine protects against four types of bacteria – groups A, C, W and Y – which cause meningitis. Young people will also be able to have the three-in-one teenage booster against diphtheria, tetanus and polio (Td/IPV).

Karen Evans, Head of Specialist Services for Children and Sirona’s Integrated Immunisation Services, said: “The MenACWY vaccine is highly effective in reducing cases of meningitis caused by the four strains of bacteria most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults.

“We are encouraging young people to have the free MenACWY vaccine and the three-in-one teenage booster which will protect them against diphtheria, tetanus and polio.”

All children need five doses of the Td/IPV vaccination to build up and maintain immunity. The first three doses should have been given as a baby, the fourth at three years and four months, and the fifth is due at age 14.

Parents and carers should receive the link to a consent form for the vaccines from their child’s school. If your child is home educated, or misses the vaccination in school, our Immunisation Team will be running community clinics. Information on how to book these will be sent to you.

You can find out more about these vaccinations on the NHS website. To contact our Immunisation Team, email sirona.sch-imms@nhs.net or call 0300 124 5515.