Meningitis C vaccine uptake by British undergraduates
Health Protection Agency in association with the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health
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A new conjugated meningococcal group C vaccine became available in November 1999. This study set out to record the vaccination status of all first year undergraduates attending a university in South Wales in 2000-01 and to identify socio-demographic factors that might influence vaccine uptake. Vaccination status of 1,120 first year undergraduates (aged between 18-21 inclusive) was assessed by a questionnaire. Eight hundred and eighty-seven (79.1%) had been vaccinated prior to coming to university. Vaccinated undergraduates showed significantly more knowledge about meningitis than unvaccinated students. Both groups had only limited understanding. The vaccination rate was significantly higher (96.3%) among students offered vaccination in school compared to students not offered vaccination there (19.7%). This finding demonstrates the effectiveness of the school-based immunisation programme. Many of our sample did not understand that they had only been vaccinated for meningitis C. This, coupled with their poor understanding of meningitis symptoms, may result in students failing to respond appropriately to such symptoms.
Communicable Diseaseas and Public Health
Communicable Disease and Public Health, 6 (2), pp.157-160
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