Meningococcal ACWY vaccine for teens
Meningococcal disease is serious, but you can be protected. Young people aged 14-16 years can get the free meningococcal ACWY vaccine at school in year 10.
What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease occurs when meningococcal bacteria, commonly found in the nose or throat, invades the body and causes serious disease. Although the majority of people will recover if the infection is diagnosed early, the disease can cause complications that may result in permanent disabilities through loss of limbs, deafness, blindness, scarring, kidney or liver failure and sometimes, it can even cause death.
Older teenagers and young adults are most likely to carry the bacteria and spread it to others.
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Getting the meningococcal ACWY vaccine
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is free for all students in year 10 aged 14–16 years through school-based immunisation programs. Students will receive a consent form from their school which must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to school before a vaccination is provided.
Is the vaccine safe?
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is a safe and effective way to help protect young people from meningococcal disease. Meningococcal ACWY vaccination programs have been in place for adolescents in the UK since 2015 and in the US since 2005.
A single dose of meningococcal ACWY vaccine is very effective in providing protection against four types of meningococcal disease, A, C, W & Y.
Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years of age, who have not received the vaccine at school, can receive it through their GP or other immunisation provider.