We would like to help raise awareness of the need for MenACWY and MMR vaccination prior to the summer break, and to encourage students to take up the vaccination(s) when MenACWY is offered by their GP.

MenACWY vaccine is now being offered by GPs to the 2017 school leaver cohort (teenagers born between 1 September 1998 and 31 August 1999). The vaccine helps protect those immunised against several forms of meningococcal disease which can cause meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). These conditions can kill in hours and those who recover may be left severely disabled.

Since 2009, there has been a large increase in certain types of meningococcal disease (type W) that this vaccine covers. Please note that although students may have had a MenC vaccination before they should still have the MenACWY vaccine as this gives the extra protection needed.

Students should be vaccinated as soon as reasonably possible and, for those going on to further or higher education, not leave it until they get there.

MMR vaccine helps protect against measles mumps and rubella and, if not up to date, young people should get this at the same appointment.

Last year there were 52 confirmed measles cases between mid-June and mid-October that were known to be linked to music and arts festivals in England and Wales. There are currently several large and serious measles outbreaks across Europe especially in Romania and Italy.