Meningitis ACWY vaccination service
Meningitis is a serious disease which can cause permanent damage to your brain and spinal cord. Find out all you need to know about the vaccine.

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

The meningitis ACWY vaccine offers protection against 4 types of bacteria that can cause meningitis: meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y.

You can book a meningitis ACWY vaccine at a selection of our community pharmacies. It's a vaccine you'll need to have if you're travelling to some high-risk countries.

What are the symptoms of meningitis?

Symptoms of meningitis include:

  • A high temperature (over 38°C)
  • Being sick
  • A headache
  • A stiff neck
  • A rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • A sensitivity to bright lights
  • Being very sleepy or difficult to wake
  • Having fits (seizures)
Babies may also:
  • Refuse feeds
  • Be irritable
  • Have high-pitched cry
  • Have a stiff body or be floppy or unresponsive
  • Have a bulging soft spot on the top of their head.

Meningitis is a life-threatening condition. If you think you or your child may be seriously ill, you must get medical help straight away.

Who is at risk of meningitis

Anyone can potentially get meningitis, but it's more common in:

  • Babies and young children
  • Teenagers and young adults
  • Elderly people
  • People with a weakened immune system, for example people who have HIV or people having chemotherapy.
Man looking out of aeroplane window

Meningitis ACWY vaccination for travel

If you are travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah or Hajj, you'll need the meningitis ACWY vaccination. Anyone aged 2 years and over travelling must supply proof of vaccination to obtain a visa to enter the country.

The vaccine is also recommended for travel to some other countries.

Find out more about travel vaccinations

How do I get a vaccination certificate for travel?

We'll give you a paper copy of your certificate at your vaccination appointment. This certificate is valid for five years and is accepted in all countries as proof of vaccination.

How long before travelling should I have the vaccination?

You must be vaccinated at least 10 days before you enter Saudi Arabia. Rules may vary for other countries, so it's always best to plan your travel vaccinations early.

I've already had the vaccine, do I need a booster?

No, the vaccine offers protection against meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y for 5 years. If it's been 5 or more years since you were vaccinated, you will need to have the vaccine again.

Travel vaccinations
How does Well's meningitis ACWY vaccination service work?

You can book an appointment by contacting your local Well Pharmacy. When you attend the appointment, you'll have a short consultation with the Pharmacist to make sure the vaccine is safe for you to take.

The vaccine costs £50 and is given by a single injection in the upper arm.

How long does the meningitis ACWY vaccine last?

The vaccine reaches full efficacy around 2 days after you've had the injection and provides protection for 5 years.

Where can I find a vaccination clinic near me?