Greater protection from Meningitis C for Bradford’s Teenagers

A new teenage booster injection for Meningitis C will be given to 13- and 14-year-olds in Bradford from February to improve the protection they get from the disease.

The additional dose will be given alongside the other routine vaccinations given to children in school at this age group.

Since the introduction of a Meningitis C vaccine (commonly known as the Men C vaccine) for babies in 1999, the number of cases of disease caused by meningitis C has fallen by 95%. However, it does not protect against other causes of meningitis such as viruses or meningococcal type B.

Shirley Brierley, Consultant in Public Health for Bradford Council, said: “The objective of the change is to protect those aged under 25 who may be at increased risk from  meningococcal C disease which causes both meningitis and septicaemia –the latter is also known as blood poisoning  ”

“New research has shown that vaccination later on in childhood provides higher levels of antibodies which last for longer. Giving them a booster at this age will give them the best protection possible.”

The Bradford District Care Trust School nurses are preparing for these changes and are working closely with the district’s schools as well as children and parents to let them know about the changes.

Mary Law, Screening and Immunisation Manager, said: “In future young babies will continue to receive an initial dose of the vaccine when they are three months old with a second dose given after a year and a booster dose when they are aged around 14 years of age.”

“This will extend the period of protection for teenagers and young adults at a time in their life when they are most at risk from developing the disease.”

“Although the number of cases has fallen significantly, we still want to reduce the number of cases further as it can be such a serious illness.”

For more information please contact Thomas Atcheson on 01274 432020 or email thomas.atcheson@bradford.gov.uk

Notes for editors:

For information on the meningitis C vaccinations, please visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/men-c-vaccine.aspx