The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has outlined a number of actions to improve control of meningococcal disease in the UK.
In its most recent review, the JCVI noted that while the number of meningococcal capsular group C (Men C) cases remains low, there has been a very gradual rise over the last few years, in part due to a larger increase in cases in the Yorkshire and Humberside region of England.
While coverage in younger adolescents with MenACWY vaccine through the school-based programme is high, coverage in older adolescents and young adults who are eligible for the vaccine is lower, including in those who have not entered higher education.
The JCVI has therefore recommended that GPs be strongly encouraged and supported to improve MenACWY vaccine coverage in those aged between 18 to 24 years inclusive who are eligible for vaccination.
It is anticipated that efforts to urgently improve coverage in this age group will lead to a reduction in cases of meningitis C and W disease across the population.
In response to the JCVI review, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Public Health England, supported by the Chief Medical Officer, will now work to improve MenACWY vaccine coverage in this age group.