School leavers in Derbyshire are being prompted to get their meningitis vaccinations to protect them against contracting the deadly disease.
The vaccine, known as MenACWY, helps protect against four strains of meningococcal disease – meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y – which can cause meningitis and septicaemia.
These are both serious conditions that can kill in hours and those who recover may be left severely disabled.
The vaccine is being offered by GP practices to all year 13 school leavers and first-time students through a three-year programme.
Councillor Carol Hart, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities, said: “Although some students may have had a MenC vaccination previously, they should still have their free MenACWY vaccine as this gives the extra protection needed.
“Students should be vaccinated as soon as reasonably possible and before they go on to further or higher education.