MenACWY vaccination for teenagers and students

Meningococcal disease is caused by meningococcal bacteria. There is a vaccination programme to protect older teenagers and young adults against meningococcal infection.

Meningococcal bacteria

Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia). There are 12 known capsular groups. In  Northern Ireland, meningococcal groups A,B, C, W and Y are the most common.  

Meningococcal bacteria can cause:

Meningitis can cause death or long-term health problems including:

To read meningitis signs and symptoms, go to:

You got meningitis vaccination as a child

You might have had a meningococcal group C vaccination as a child, however, due to an increase in type W across the UK you are now recommended to have the MenACWY vaccine.

This will boost your protection against Men C and also protect you against the types A, W and Y. It won’t protect you against all the types of meningococcal disease which is why it is also important to know the signs and symptoms.

MenACWY vaccination 

The MenACWY vaccine helps protect you against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia; meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y disease.

You only need one dose of the vaccine. You get the vaccine as a single injection in the upper arm.

In 2015 the MenACWY vaccine replaced the Men C vaccination given annually in school to all pupils in year 11.  Pupils in year 11 are now automatically offered the vaccine in school by the school health team, with a second chance to have it again in year 12, if they missed out the first time.

Young people eligible for the MenACWY vaccine

Young people born between 2 July 1996 and 1 July 2002 should have already been offered the vaccine by their GP or in school. If for any reason they missed out they are still eligible for the vaccine from their GP. If you aren't planning to go to university, it is still important to get the vaccine. You only need to get the MenACWY vaccine once.

If you haven't yet received the vaccine, you can ask your GP.

Young people starting university aged 25 or under

Various sub groups of meningococcal disease can spread quickly in areas where people live closely to each other:

  • in university halls of residence
  • in shared accommodation

If you’re aged 25 or under, about to start university for the first time and haven’t yet had the MenACWY vaccination, you should ask your GP for the vaccine.  Even if you have previously received the Men C vaccine you should still now ask for the MenACWY vaccine.

Ideally, you should get the vaccine at least two weeks before you start university. If you don’t get the vaccine before going to university you should contact a GP in the university health centre and arrange to get the vaccine.

You can ask your GP, practice nurse or university health centre for more information about the vaccine.

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.