Student Vaccination Service
If you’re moving away from home to go to university or college, it’s important to look after your health while you’re there.
Before you head off to University or College, you should have been vaccinated against certain diseases. We strongly advise that you consider having these vaccinations. Here at Dears Pharmacy we are able to offer these with No Appointment Necessary.
The recommended vaccinations that you should have are:
- Meningitis (MenACWY & MenB Vaccines)
- DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus & Polio)
- MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
- Pneumonia Vaccination (one jab protects for 20 years)
- Flu Vaccination (October to March annually)
Meningococcal infections (including Meningococcal ACWY & Meningococcal B)
There has been a small increase in the rate of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in recent years. Young people attending higher education for the first time are at greater risk of this disease, particularly in the first few weeks of their first term. In the UK, MenB accounted for 57% of all reported cases of Invasive Meningococcal Disease in people 10–24 years old in 2015.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and can become very serious. Meningitis is often associated with septicaemia, otherwise known as blood poisoning, which can also be extremely serious.
It is spreads through the air by coughing sneezing or with direct contact of the respiratory secretions of an infected person.
Although most people recover from the disease, some are left deaf or blind, and in others it may prove fatal. One of the biggest problems with meningitis is that it can develop very quickly. A child (or adult) can seem perfectly well and then, just a few hours later, be extremely ill with the disease. Another problem is that the symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from other, less serious infections.
Meningitis B Vaccination
The vaccination consists of two doses spread at six months apart.
Meningitis ACWY Vaccination
One vaccination will provide coverage for three years.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
HPV or “Human Papilloma Virus” refers to a group of viruses which can affect cells in your throat, anus, mouth and cervix. Certain strains of HPV can lead to genital warts, as well as cancer in women, and more rarely; anal and throat cancer.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects both men and women against diseases caused by HPV. These diseases include pre-cancerous lesions and cancers of the female genitals (cervix, vulva, and vagina), pre-cancerous lesions and cancers of the anus and genital warts in males and females. In the UK, just under 1,000 women die from cervical cancer every year. There are about 300 deaths from anal cancer each year in the UK. Genital warts are very common. In England, they are the second most common type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) after chlamydia.
How can I know if my child has been exposed to HPV?
Exposure can happen with any kind of adolescent experimentation that involves genital contact with someone who has HPV — intercourse isn’t necessary, but it’s the most common way to get the virus. Because HPV often has no signs or symptoms, anyone can get the virus without even knowing it and then pass it on.
What is the link between HPV and cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of HPV. When a female is infected with these types of HPV and the virus doesn’t go away on its own, abnormal cells can develop in the cervix. If these abnormal cells are not found early through routine cervical cancer screening and treated, then cervical cancer can develop. Many females with cervical cancer were probably exposed to cancer-causing HPV types in their teens and 20s.
Could HPV-related cancers and diseases affect my son too?
Yes. Males can get HPV too. In fact, HPV can cause anal cancer and genital warts in males.
Is the same vaccine given to both girls and boys?
Yes, there are three type of HPV vaccines in the UK and they are all licensed for use in male and female.
What is the link between HPV and genital warts?
Two types of HPV cause approximately 90% of all genital warts cases in both males and females. Approximately 3 out of 4 people will get genital warts after having any kind of genital contact with someone who has genital warts. Treatment for genital warts can be painful (for example, freezing or applying medicine to the warts) and, even after treatment, genital warts can come back. In fact, approximately 25% of all cases return within 3 months.
Can HPV be treated?
No. There are currently no available medicines that treat HPV infection. For most, HPV clears on its own. But, for others who don’t clear the virus, HPV could cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in females and anal cancer and genital warts in both males and females.
How safe is the HPV vaccine?
Years of testing are required by law to ensure the safety of vaccines before they are made available for use in the UK. In studies, the most common side effects with the HPV vaccines (seen in more than 1 patient in 10) were reactions at the site of the injection (redness, pain and swelling) and headache. These side effects were normally mild or moderate. For the full list of all side effects reported, see the package leaflet.
Could I get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from the HPV vaccine?
No. It is not possible to get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from the HPV vaccine.
With more than 40 genital HPV types, how effective is the new HPV vaccine if it only helps protect against 9 types of HPV?
In girls and women ages 9 to 26, this vaccine helps protect against the 7 types of HPV that cause about 90% of HPV-related cervical cancer cases, about 85% of HPV-related vaginal cancer cases, and about 90% of HPV-related vulvar cancer cases. In males and females, the new HPV vaccine helps protect against the 7 types of HPV that cause about 90% of HPV-related anal cancer cases and the2 types of HPV that cause about 90% of HPV-related genital warts cases. Not all cases of vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer are caused by HPV. Approximately 70% to 75% of vaginal cancer cases, 30% of vulvar cancer cases, and 85% to 90% of anal cancer cases are HPV related.
Will I still need to get cervical screening test in the future?
Yes. Cervical screening test will play a key role in protecting your health since the HPV vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV. Cervical screening test is proven to help save lives by looking for abnormal cells in the cervix before they have the chance to become pre-cancer or cancer.
Will sexually active individuals benefit from the vaccine?
Even if someone has already had sex, they should still get HPV vaccine. Even though HPV infection usually happens soon after someone has sex for the first time, a person might not be exposed to any or all the HPV types that are in the vaccine. Males and females in the age groups recommended for vaccination are likely to get at least some protection from the vaccine.
Diphtheria is an acute respiratory infection caused by the diphtheria bacterium. This is a serious infection with a high mortality rate, even in Western Europe. The disease is mainly transmitted by droplets from the nose or throat being passed from person to person, e.g. by coughing or sneezing.
The incubation period, from infection to symptoms, is usually two to five days. Diphtheria bacteria can destroy the mucous membrane, so that a thick coating is formed causing serious inflammation of the throat, sometimes causing asphyxiation. Local symptoms consist of a sore throat, coughing and breathing difficulties. Damage to the heart and nervous system occur in advanced stages. Death rates vary depending on country and treatment available (up to 40% in poorer countries).
Tetanus is a bacterial infection usually spread through skin wounds or cuts. The bacterium produces a neurotoxin which enters the blood stream and spreads rapidly throughout the body.
The incubation period varies between 3-21 days.
Tetanus initially causes spasm of the muscles nearest to the infected wound and as it spreads other symptoms start, usually in the face. The most common early sign is a spasm of the jaw muscles – known as lockjaw. Spasms can then occur in the throat muscles, making it difficult to swallow and can become serious with arching of the spine.
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system.
Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
Revaxis vaccination – (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio vaccine)
Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine
During the last few years several universities, have seen an increase in cases of mumps among students. This can be a debilitating illness in young people with the possible risk of complications. The Department of Health advises that all those entering higher education should have two immunisations against MMR. Please ensure that you are fully immunised before you arrive at the University.
Measles a highly infectious viral illness, which spreads rapidly from person to person. It is one of the leading causes of death among young children, the majority occurring in developing countries where immunisation is patchy (WHO 2013).
The initial symptoms are like the common cold with runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes and fever. This is followed by a rash, which spreads throughout the body.
Complications of measles tend to occur in children under 5 years or adults over 20 years and include encephalitis (infection of the brain) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs).
There is no specific treatment for measles.
Mumps is a viral infection mainly of childhood and affects the salivary glands.
Symptoms appear 2 to 3 weeks after infection and include headache, fever, muscle ache and swelling of the salivary glands.
It tends to be mild in children, but in adults, can lead to complications such as meningitis, deafness and orchitis (infection of the testicles).
There is no specific treatment available for mumps.
Rubella is an acute viral illness that is spread easily from person to person by coughing or sneezing. It is mainly an infection of children and is generally mild in this group. However, rubella in pregnancy is a severe and potentially fatal illness for the unborn baby.
Symptoms include rash and fever and usually occur 2 to 3 weeks after exposure. In adults, it can also cause painful joints and arthritis,
There is no specific treatment available for mumps.
The MMR Vaccine
A booster may be required depending on the time passed since your last vaccination. You need to have had two vaccinations to be protected.
Pneumonia is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition caused by pneumococcal infection. It is the inflammation of the tissue in one or both lungs, caused by infection from bacteria, viruses or fungi.
One simple pneumonia vaccine can help reduce the risk of pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common type of pneumonia. The pneumonia vaccination lasts 20 years, regardless of age, and costs £70, giving you long-term protection and peace of mind.
Am I at risk?
Anyone of any age can catch pneumonia so, to protect yourself and those around you, you should get the pneumococcal vaccine and try to avoid close contact with infected people.
- It develops in up to 1 in every 100 UK adults each year
- It can be fatal for more than 50,000 UK adults a year
- Over 172,000 adult hospital admissions are due to pneumonia; over 1 in 5 occur in people under 65
- Flu, colds and pneumonia can have similar symptoms, so it’s important to distinguish between them to avoid delay in preventing or treating them. Ask your Pharmacist for more advice, to find out what’s best for you.
- If you have flu you could be 100 times more likely to develop pneumonia, so it makes sense to protect yourself from both.
What does the vaccination protect against?
The pneumococcal vaccine helps prevent infections caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). These pneumococcal infections include pneumonia (lung infection), sepsis or bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood stream) and meningitis (inflammation around the brain).
How does it work?
The vaccine works by helping the body make antibodies to 13 types of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia. Antibodies are used by the body to recognise potentially harmful bacteria so that they can be destroyed before they cause infections. The antibodies should therefore help protect you against infections caused by those bacteria. As with any vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccination will not protect everyone who is vaccinated.
How many injections will I need?
In most cases, you will only need one injection, but our pharmacists may recommend further injections, based on your individual circumstances.
What is flu?
Flu is a virus which means that antibiotics are ineffective. Therefore, people suffering from flu will need time to recover and let the body fight off the virus. The Flu virus is spread through particles in the air distributed by infected coughs and sneezes. Since we all breath the air, it is a perfect vehicle for spreading the virus, especially in areas where people work closely with others. The virus can also spread through contact, for example touching door handles or surfaces where the virus has been left by an infected person. Therefore, hand hygiene is so important in fighting the flu virus.
When to vaccinate?
Vaccinations for flu are available from October each year. The best time to vaccinate is between October and November as flu is more prominent in the winter months. This will cover you for that year’s strain of flu.
Why vaccinate every year?
Every year there are different strains of flu. Once vaccinated, you are only covered for the strain of flu in the vaccine. The Department of Health issues recommendations each year regarding which strain of flu should be included in the vaccine. The pharmaceutical companies then produce this vaccine and distribute it for administration. All flu vaccines used by Dears Pharmacies are those recommended by the DOH.
Enhanced Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine:
There are 2 main types of flu viruses. More than strain may be circulating at any one time, and different strains can appear at different times in the flu season.
The 4-strain flu vaccine protects against four types of influenza – two viruses from the A class and two from the B class. The 3-strain vaccine only covers 3 strains of the influenza virus, but the 4-strain vaccine covers an additional flu virus strain, giving you broader coverage.
The 4-strain vaccine has been shown to be more effective than the 3-strain vaccine in protecting against more serious cases of flu.