Unfortunately there has been a rise in Meningitis B cases in the Bristol area over the last few years, some which have had fatal results. Most recently on the 16th August 2017 my 18 year old cousin, George Zographou, tragically and suddenly died of Meningitis B. There has been a lot of media coverage of his death and the events following, for example the charity work we, as a family, have done to raise money and awareness for Meningitis Now. However, this work has only affected his close friends and family and we wish to spread this awareness further.
As much as our fundraising has helped raise money and awareness, it has come to my attention that many of the younger people I have spoken to have not had their Meningitis ACWY vaccination prior to, or during their time at university. This is the free vaccination given by the NHS to protect students from the more common strains of Meningitis. As well as this, our aim is to get as many students to get the Meningitis B vaccination as we were not given this vaccination when we were children and it is very likely many people do not even know this existed.
I recently got my first vaccination for Meningitis B and will get the second one two months after. It does cost money as the NHS will not give it out for free to teens and adults, only for babies, and that is why we must campaign for awareness. This small price to pay could save our lives.
It is important we make sure all students are aware of the symptoms of Meningitis and visit a GP as soon as they have any symptoms.
It is vital that we do our best to stop this tragedy happening to anyone else and that we make sure the students at UWE safe.