Medical Q&As

Meningitis - vaccinate?

My 14-year-old son missed out on getting his meningitis jab at school as he was away on the day it was being administered. Should I take him to my local GP to get it, or is it absolutely necessary?

It is not absolutely necessary to be vaccinated against any disease. Freedom of choice still holds and you have the right to decline vaccination if you do not wish for your son to have it. If you decide to proceed with vaccination your GP would be in a position to perform it. I would recommend such vaccination unhesitatingly because the consequences of developing meningitis are potentially devastating. Meningitis is not a trivial illness and if your son was unlucky enough to acquire it the consequences could be very severe for him. The infection can result in permanent disability and sometimes it can be fatal. The vaccine is safe and the probability of complications is small. I hope that this comment is not too pointed but imagine the consequences for you and your son if he were to develop meningitis and had not been vaccinated.