18 May 2017

GPs Doing What We Can to Increase Take-Up of Meningitis Vaccine, Says RCGP

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, has responded to a report by the Meningitis Research Foundation.

She said: “GPs are always on the alert for signs of meningitis and we are doing everything we can to increase awareness and take-up of the MenACWY immunisation programme.

“However, there are different rules and responsibilities for vaccinating specific age groups, which has made it confusing for GPs and schools, as well as for our young patients and their parents.

“School services have responsibility for vaccinating school aged pupils, while GPs have responsibility for school leavers, but we can only carry out vaccinations on surgery premises and many young people are busy with exams and do not always respond to their call-up invitations.

“The confusion over eligibility is undoubtedly a major factor in the low immunisation rate and this is very concerning.

“We need a long-running and high-profile public awareness campaign to clarify who is, and who is not, eligible for the free NHS vaccine, and inform young people about the importance of being vaccinated against this devastating and, in the worst cases, life-threatening disease.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.