Health and Wellbeing


Vaccinations. They might not be the first thing you think about when preparing to head to uni, but they’re a really important part of preparing for student life.

There has been a rapid rise in the number of cases of meningitis and septicaemia in the last few years, and students are particularly at risk because starting university means mixing with a lot of new people.

Meningitis and septicaemia are serious, life threatening illnesses that can become critical within hours, and anyone can be affected.

Ideally students should get vaccinated before arriving on campus, but if you haven’t got round to it yet, or you’re not sure whether you’ve had the vaccination or not, then now’s the time to make sure that you’re protected.

It’s really quick and easy, and could save your life.

Which vaccinations are we talking about?

The NHS recommend that students have the MenACWY vaccination.

This vaccination is available free through the NHS. Students who are going to university or college for the first time, and haven’t had the Men ACWY vaccine before, are eligible up to their 25th birthday. This includes international and mature students.

You might also want to consider paying privately for the MenB vaccination, for Meningitis B, which is available from some chemists and travel clinics (it is quite pricey though –  you pay for two injections and they cost over £100 each).

How to get the MenACWY vaccination

If you haven’t already been vaccinated, then you just need to make an appointment with your GP (make sure you’re registered with a doctor in Brighton).

If you’re not sure if you’ve been vaccinated or not then try asking your parent/guardian or your home GP. If you’re still not sure then go to the health centre or see your GP for advice.

The vaccination is given by a single injection into the upper arm and protects against four different strains of bacteria that cause meningitis and blood poisoning.


And while you’re booking your appointment why not ask your housemates if they’ve all had the vaccination too?

Is it a hangover?

Even after you’ve had your vaccination you can still keep an eye out for signs of meningitis and septicaemia in yourself and others. Early recognition and treatment provide the best chance of a good recovery.

The symptoms of meningitis are very similar to a hangover, but get worse very quickly. Symptoms include vomiting, high fever, cold hands/feet, violent or severe headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights , drowsiness, severe muscle pain, convulsions, confusion, and a rash – tiny spots or bruising which does not fade when pressed with glass.

Keep an eye on your housemates and if you think someone might have meningitis then get help immediately. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

We hope you all have a happy and healthy time here at Sussex!


For more information on vaccinations visit the wellbeing web pages

For more information on health care for international students visit the International Student Support web pages