Meningitis ACWY

The MenACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm.

The MenACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm and protects against 4 strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W and Y – which cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia).

MenACWY Vaccine Overview

“Fresher” students going to university for the first time should make sure they’ve had the MenACWY vaccine to prevent meningitis and septicaemia, which can be deadly.

The MenACWY vaccine is also routinely offered to teenagers in school Years 9 and 10.

What is the MenACWY vaccine?

The MenACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm and protects against 4 strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W and Y – which cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia).

The MenACWY vaccine is called Nimenrix.

At what age should teenagers and young people have the vaccine?

Children aged 13 to 15 (school Years 9 or 10) are routinely offered the MenACWY vaccine in school alongside the 3-in-1 teenage booster.

Young people

Anyone born on or after 1 September 1996 who was eligible but missed their teenage MenACWY vaccine can still have the vaccine up to their 25th birthday.

If they’re still at school, they should talk to their school nurse.

If they’ve left school (including people who have started apprenticeships or joined the armed forces), they should make an appointment with their GP practice.

University students

Any university student born on or after 1 September 1996 who was eligible but missed their teenage MenACWY vaccine can still have the vaccine up to their 25th birthday.

Students going to university or college for the first time, including overseas and mature students, who have not yet had the MenACWY vaccine remain eligible, as freshers (first-year students), up to their 25th birthday.

Students should contact their GP to have the MenACWY vaccine before starting university or college. If that’s not possible, they should have it as soon as they can after they begin university.

Find out if you can have the MenACWY vaccine with the Meningitis Research Foundation’s eligibility checker.

Why teenagers and students should have the MenACWY vaccine

Meningococcal disease (meningitis and septicaemia) is a rare but life-threatening disease caused by meningococcal bacteria.

Older teenagers and new university students are at higher risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria at the back of their nose and throat.

Anyone who is eligible for the MenACWY vaccine should have it, even if they have previously had the MenC vaccine.

The MenACWY vaccine is highly effective in preventing illness caused by the 4 meningococcal strains, including the extremely harmful MenW strain

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