A LEADING meningitis charity has warned ‘a perfect storm’ of ignorance, risk and confusion around a lifesaving vaccine for young people will, unless checked, lead to young people losing their lives to meningitis in the coming year.

The warning from Meningitis Now follows the publication of new data that shows that over 80 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 do not consider themselves at risk from the killer disease. Moreover, only one in four of this age group knows the signs and symptoms of meningitis and a third think the disease is not preventable.

Dr Tom Nutt, chief executive at Meningitis Now, says: “Parents really need to take control of the MenACWY vaccination process and ensure that their child has received this lifesaving vaccination and in doing so, ensure that they do not become one of the million young people who have so far missed out.”

Eligibility for the MenACWY vaccination, which is free from GPs, is available for young people aged under 25.

Dr Nutt added: “Our research sheds new light on the issue of poor vaccine uptake and in doing so, highlights a perfect storm where deaths, as a direct result of not being vaccinated, will sadly occur.”