Men ACWY vaccine

Young teenagers, sixth formers and 'fresher' students going to university for the first time are now routinely offered a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease.


The Men ACWY vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia – meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.
All 17- and 18-year-olds in school year 13 and first-time university students up to the age of 25 are eligible for the Men ACWY vaccine as part of the NHS vaccination programme.


How do you get the vaccine?

We will will automatically send letters inviting 17-and 18-year-olds in school year 13 to have the Men ACWY vaccine. Students going away to university or college for the first time as freshers should contact their GP to have the Men ACWY vaccine, ideally before the start of the academic year. Students in their second year or above of university do not need the vaccine and are not included in this programme.


Younger teenagers (school year 9 or 10) will be offered the Men ACWY vaccine in school as part of the routine adolescent schools programme alongside the 3-in-1 teenage booster, and as a direct replacement for the Men C vaccination.

Why do teenagers and students need Men W vaccination?

Cases of meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by Men W bacteria are rising, due to a particularly deadly strain.
Older teenagers and university students are at high risk of infection because they tend to live in close contact in shared accommodation, such as university halls of residence.
Men ACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm. There are two Men ACWY vaccines that will be used in the vaccination programme, called Nimenrix and Menveo. They are very similar and both work equally well.

For further information please see the NHS Choices website