Students – get immunised before heading to uni
Published: Friday, September 6, 2019
As students across the borough prepare for college and university, Wandsworth Council and local GPs are urging them to look after their health as well.
As well as advice regarding sexual health, young people are being advised to make sure their immunisations are up to date.
Nationally there has been an increase in the number of measles cases, particularly affecting people aged 16-25. Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to very serious complications.
The best protection is to check with your GP that you are up to date with your immunisations. If not or you are unsure – you can arrange an MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) catch-up vaccination free on the NHS at your GP surgery.
In addition, young people are encouraged to protect themselves by having the MenACWY vaccine against four types of meningitis (bacterial infections), including the aggressive MenW.
Cllr Melanie Hampton, Wandsworth Council's cabinet member for health and adult social care said: “The start of college or university is a really exciting time and with a few simple precautions, students can make sure that it is a time in their lives they’ll remember for all the right reasons. Sexual health is a key priority, and we are also urging students to make sure they are protected from other infectious diseases including measles and meningitis.”
Dr Nicola Jones, GP and Clinical Chair of Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We know that colleges and universities can be hot spots for the spread of measles and meningococcal disease. First year students especially are at increased risk of meningococcal infection if they are unvaccinated – which makes sense when they spend large amounts of time with new people in confined spaces such as university halls.
“We therefore encourage students to check with their GP that they are up to date with their MMR and MenACWY vaccinations before term starts – it’s never too late to protect yourself and your friends from these highly infectious and serious diseases.”
For more information contact your GP, or go to nhs.uk/conditions/measles