Young people on Bute who are due to start university studies after this summer are being offered a vaccination against the germ which causes meningitis C.
Scotland’s chief medical officer has announced arrangements for a time-limited catch-up programme, offering the meningococcal group C (Men C) vaccine to first-time university entrants across Scotland under the age of 25.
The programme is being introduced from Friday, August 1.
Graham Bolton, manager of the Bute Practice at Rothesay Health Centre, said: “The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) noted that older adolescents will not have been vaccinated under the revised MenC schedule at S3 school year age with the adolescent booster dose of MenC conjugate vaccine.
“This group may be at increased risk of contracting Men C disease if they enter into higher education in a university setting for the first time and should be offered a single dose of MenC vaccine.
“The JCVI considers prospective students entering university as being at an increased risk of Men C disease as these students are more likely to stay in halls of residence and/or have more close contact with new students during freshers’ week.
“Given that the current levels of Men C disease are very low, the JCVI does not recommend vaccination for those attending further education colleges as they are unlikely to be exposed to the same level of risk.”
It is important that eligible university entrants, including overseas students, receive vaccination at least two weeks before they attend university whenever possible to ensure a full immune response.”
Eligible students can attend Rothesay Health Centre for vaccination from now onwards. An appointment with a practice nurse can be made by calling the health centre 01700 501521 or 01700 501527.