The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Meningitis Travel Vaccine

What is Meningitis?

Meningococcal disease is a rare, but potentially devastating, infection in travellers caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. There are several types of meningitis which can affect travellers, including meningitis A, C, W, and Y. The World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 10 people of the general population of the UK are thought to carry N. meningitidis bacterium in their throat and nose. The most common forms of meningococcal disease are meningitis (infection of the protective lining around the brain and spine) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Transmission of the bacteria is spread through individuals through coughing, sneezing, kissing or during close contact with a carrier. 

Common symptoms of meningitis include fever, intense headache, neck stiffness photophobia, nausea and vomiting. Signs and symptoms of meningitis can develop within hours or over several days.

Meningitis Vaccine 

Travellers need to check whether they will be entering a meningococcal meningitis risk area. The meningitis vaccine consists of one single dose and the meningitis ACWY vaccine provides protection for at least 5 years. Travellers who are getting vaccinated should aim to get the jab two weeks before travelling.

The vaccine can cause mild side effects, such as redness and swelling. Other symptoms that may include tiredness and high temperature. 

Speak to one of our expert Pharmacists at your local Urwin Pharmacy which meningitis vaccine your or your child should get before travelling. 


Meningitis Prevention

Travellers should be advised to practice good hand hygiene and to avoid activities that promote exchange of respiratory secretions, such as sharing drinks and eating utensils. 

Vaccination is a successful intervention for preventing meningitis and is the most effective measure for preventing invasive meningococcal disease.

What vaccinations do I need?

Speak to one of our expert Pharmacists at your local Urwin Pharmacy branch about current travel advice and recommendations.