Conor McGinn is encouraging young people to protect themselves from a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis.
He has backed calls from Meningitis Now after a worrying increase of 809% in meningococcal (group W) meningitis cases in the past five years.\nThe government launched a vaccination programme to protect young people aged 14-15 through schools, and those aged 17 to 18 through their GP.
\nBut, despite the introduction of this vaccine, and the increased risk to students and young people, the uptake of the Men ACWY vaccine remains very low, with just 10.5 % of 17 and 18-year-olds within Merseyside taking up the vaccine, and 17.4% across England.
\nYoung people and particularly first year university students are at an increased risk from meningococcal bacteria which can cause meningitis and septicaemia. Early signs can go undetected, and in young people can be put down to a bout of the flu, or even a hangover.\n
Conor said:”I’m supporting the important work that Meningitis Now is doing in raising awareness of this serious issue.
\n”The news recently of a death of a student at the University of Northumbria shows just how dangerous meningitis can be.
\n”The rapid increase in the amount of cases and that vaccination levels are so low in Merseyside is worrying.
\n”I strongly encourage young people to take up the free vaccinations for Men ACWY, which are on offer through GP practices, to ensure they are protected.”