A doctor in Newbury is urging first-year students preparing to start university this month to get a vaccination to prevent them contracting a new type of meningitis.
Dr Abid Irfan, clinical chairman of the NHS Newbury and District Clinical Commissioning Group, is recommending the young people get the new MenACWY vaccine to stop them getting meningococcal W, also known as MenW.
Since 2009, there has been a year-on-year increase in the number of MenW cases, with older teenagers and young adults the most at risk.
All 13- to 19-year-olds and new college and university entrants are being offered the vaccine through their GP.
Ideally, the vaccine needs to be given at least two weeks before starting college or university.
Dr Irfan said: “You’re moving on to a new and exciting stage of your life, however it’s important to get some ‘personal admin’ out of the way first.”
He continued: “Getting your MenACWY vaccination from your GP now will protect you from meningitis and blood poisoning, both of which are very serious and can kill if not diagnosed early.”