Meningitis ACWY Vaccine – Hajj/Umrah


Meningitis ACWY Vaccine – Hajj/Umrah

Bacterial meningitis can be fatal. It is more common in some countries outside the UK. The best way to protect yourself if you are travelling to an at-risk country is to be vaccinated.

Meningococcus is a bacterium that causes meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood infection). It can also cause pneumonia and inflammation of the heart. Potentially the infection can be very serious and can be life-threatening if left untreated.

There are a number of different groups of meningococcal bacteria:

  • Groups B, C and W are common strains in the UK.
  • Group A is rare in the UK but more commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa and Saudi Arabia.
  • Groups Y, 29E and Z are also rare in the UK but Group W has been the cause of outbreaks in other parts of the world.

Some people are carriers of the meningococcal bacterium, and the germ lives harmlessly in their noses and throats. Occasionally the bacterium multiplies and causes meningitis and septicaemia to develop. The bacterium can be spread by close contact such as kissing, coughing and sneezing.


What are the symptoms?


Early symptoms include:

  • High temperature (fever).
  • Tiredness.
  • Feeling sick (nauseous).
  • Leg pains.
  • Cold hands and feet.
  • Pale or blue colour to the skin around the mouth.
  • A red or purplish rash with spots that do not fade when pressed.

Other symptoms include:

  • Shivering.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Headache.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Aches and pains in the muscles.
  • Skin that appears pale or blotchy.



What am I booking?


This is a private (paid for) service from your Pharmacist for one dose of vaccine – you only need one dose.

You need to be immunised at least 10 days before you travel, and you may need proof of immunisation to get a visa in some circumstances.


Is this service right for me?


This service is for people aged 2-85 years. It is not suitable for you if you:

  • Are pregnant; or
  • Have any problems with your immune system; or
  • Have taken steroid tablets in the last month; or
  • Have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of meningitis vaccine; or
  • Have bleeding (clotting) problems; or
  • Are severely allergic to latex; or
  • Are currently unwell with a fever (please re-book when you have recovered).

If you are taking warfarin medication, your blood tests will need to be in the correct range to have the injection – your Pharmacist can advise.

If you are sure from the guidance above that you need this vaccination (eg if you have not had this vaccination before) please book using this form. Otherwise, please book our ‘travel advice’ appointment. Your Pharmacist can advise you on all the vaccinations and other precautions you need.