By Lauren Martin
I first encountered the Meningitis ACWY vaccine through an NHS public health advertisement around two weeks prior to my return to university. I noticed that this began to repeatedly appear on my Facebook timeline with a simple message proclaiming ‘Freshers are at high risk from Meningitis and Septicaemia. Help protect your friends’. Curiosity sparked, I took to Google and researched the ACWY vaccination scheme further. In part, I was driven by surprise that I had not previously heard of it, particularly as Meningitis is such a concern for young people. And, from talking to friends, it seems I’m not alone. Regardless, whether Facebook had somehow picked up on my slightly hypochondriacal tendencies, or whether all students are now being targeted on social media, the post had the desired effect and I have booked in to receive the Meningitis ACWY vaccine in a few days’ time.
But what actually is the ACWY vaccine – and why is it so important for young people?