Hatfield university encourages students to take free meningitis vaccine

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:00 19 September 2017

Hatfield university encourages students to take free meningitis vaccine.

Hatfield university encourages students to take free meningitis vaccine.

Photographs copyright © University of Hertfordshire

To help mark Meningitis Awareness Week, the Welwyn Hatfield Times has asked the University of Hertfordshire what it is doing to raise awareness of the deadly disease that can kill within hours.

Students are particularly vulnerable to meningitis and septicaemia and can mistake early symptoms as ‘freshers’ flu’ or hangovers.

Early symptoms include headache, vomiting, limb pain, fever, and cold hands and feet.

The disease can kill within hours and has left survivors with life-changing effects including limb amputation, sight and hearing.

A spokeswoman at the University of Hertfordshire said: “We proactively take a number of steps to ensure our students, especially those coming to live on campus, are told about the MenACWY vaccination and encourage them to have it before they arrive.

“We assure them that if they can’t get it before they move in to halls of residence we will offer the vaccination here on campus.”

The university offers the vaccination free of charge for both home and international students living in halls.

The spokeswoman added: “Many of our international students are unable to get the vaccination in their home country and some are not eligible to get it free of charge through the NHS so it is important that we support them and make it as easy as possible to get the vaccination when they arrive.

“All students coming to live on campus are told about the vaccination in their online induction for halls which they complete before they arrive - they have to tick a box to say they have read the information before they can move onto the next page.

“They also all receive a personal email before they arrive reminding them to get the vaccination and once again explaining they can have it on campus if their doctors can’t give them the vaccination beforehand.”

The university also has posters up in all the halls’ kitchens with information about the vaccination and symptoms to look out for.

Once students who are living on the campus arrive, they are emailed again to tell them when the vaccination clinics start, which are run by the Medical Centre and the Campus Pharmacy.

MRF’s eligibility checker makes it easy for anyone to find out if they are eligible to get the MenACWY vaccine free by visiting www.meningitis.org/oneshot.

For any questions about meningitis and septicaemia call MRF’s free helpline on 080 8800 3344 or visit www.meningitis.org.

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