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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel


CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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2191-0278
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Meningococcal ACWY vaccine uptake and awareness among student freshers enrolled at Northern Ireland universities

Peter J.A. Moore
  • Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AD, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ B. Cherie Millar
  • Corresponding author
  • Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, BT9 7AD, Northern Ireland, UK
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ John E. Moore
  • Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AD, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-01-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2016-0087

Abstract

A new MenACWY conjugate meningococcal vaccination programme was introduced in Northern Ireland (NI) in August 2015, for 13–18 year olds, as well as for first-time university entrants up to 25 years. This reflected the response made by Public Health England, due to the recent rapid increase of meningococcal group W (MenW) disease and on advice of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The aims of this study were to evaluate (i) the uptake of the MenACWY vaccine among first-time university students, (ii) vaccine and meningitis awareness, (iii) optimal communication modalities via a multidisciplinary team (MDT) model and (iv) current international vaccination policies relating to non-UK students. A survey was completed by 1210 students, 868 first-time freshers and 342 non-freshers, from healthcare-related, non-healthcare-related and engineering/computing faculties. The survey included an anonymous questionnaire and consented students were aged 17–50 years with a 2:3 ratio of male:female. Vaccine uptake amongst 18-year-old students was 90.7% and 87.3% in female and male cohorts, respectively, falling to 72.1% and 67.7% (19-year cohort) and 32.7% and 39.6% (20- to 25-year cohort) in males and females, respectively. Students reported that posters, clinics and talks were the preferred methods of communication and not social media. There was general lack of awareness of the signs/symptoms of meningitis and approximately 30% of students falsely believed that administration of the MenACWY vaccine excluded the risk of contracting meningitis. Overall, there was a successful vaccination campaign; however, there was a lack of meningitis awareness. Due to differing international meningococcal vaccination schedules, international students enrolling at UK universities need to be informed about current UK policies. For the successful introduction of any vaccination programme amongst university students, it is fundamental that a MDT is established to inform and deliver such a programme in an efficient and timely manner.

Keywords: meningococcal disease; Neisseria meninigitidis; surveillance; university students; vaccine

References

About the article

Received: 2016-09-24

Accepted: 2016-10-25

Published Online: 2017-01-18


Funding resource: This study was funded by the NI Meningococcal Stakeholders’ Forum (MeningoNI).

Ethical approval: In order to help inform university administrators and other key healthcare stakeholders in developing effective communication strategies relating to meningococcal awareness and vaccination policies, a Service Evaluation was designed and performed amongst university students during September 2015. The NHS Health Research Authority Guidelines (UK) concluded that the analysis of this Service Evaluation did not require NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC) review.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20160087, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, ISSN (Print) 0334-0139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2016-0087.

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