What is Meningococcal Disease?

Meningococcal Disease is caused by 13 groups of the bacteria. Here in the UK, it is almost exclusively caused by MenB, MenC, MenW or MenY. This bacteria lives in the back of the nose and throat and shows no symptoms or illness in 10 of 100 carriers, making it very easy to spread the disease.

It is spread by close contact with another person who carries the bacteria.

Meningococcal bacteria can cause serious illnesses like meningitis or septicemia which can cause sepsis and death.

Whilst Meningococcal infections can occur at any age, babies, young children and teenagers are particularly vulnerable.


Who should have the MenACWY vaccine?

Currently, the vaccine is recommended for teenagers as they are the most likely demographic to carry the meningococcal bacteria at the back of their noses and throats.

You should have the MenACWY vaccine if you are in years 9-10, were born after 1 September 1996 , and if you are entering University for the first time or are an overseas student up to age 25.

Vaccine Effectiveness

The highly effective MenACWY contains only the sugar coating found on the surface of the 4 types of Meningococcal bacteria. 

It works by triggering the immune response whereupon the body then develops antibodies to the disease, without developing the disease.

Who should not have the MenACWY vaccine?

Those who have allergies to the vaccine or any ingredients within the vaccine should not have it. As with any vaccine or medication, you should check with your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have any kind of bleeding or clotting problem (ie: haemophilia) or bruise easily
  • Are experiencing a high temperature
  • Any other concerns

Anna Pharmacy now offers the Meningitis ACWY vaccine (MenACWY) in Carshalton, Sutton, Hackbridge, Wallington and Croydon.