Meningitis and MMR – ensure you're vaccinated!

3 December 2020

You can help support public health by making sure you're vaccinated against meningitis and other infectious diseases.


With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak ongoing, public health is high on everyone's agenda. If you're able to join us on campus in September, you can help protect yourself and others from a number of other illnesses too by making sure you're vaccinated.

Students can be more vulnerable to certain infections due to living closely with many others in student residences and mixing with large numbers of people, so now's the time to stop and ask yourself, have I had my vaccinations?

What vaccinations do you need to have?

Public Health England strongly recommends the following vaccinations:

Meningitis (ACWY)

All university students under 25 years of age should be immunised against meningitis (the ACWY vaccine). This vaccine also protects against septicaemia (blood poisoning). 

If you're over 25 years of age, your risk of being infected with meningitis is substantially reduced and you do not need to have the vaccine.

Many UK students will have had this in school aged 13 to 15. If this is the case for you, you do not need to have the vaccine again.

If you did not receive the vaccine in school for any reason, and if you are coming to university for the first time and are under 25 years of age, you should get the meningitis (ACWY) vaccine. This includes international students. If in doubt, always speak to your doctor.

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)

Mumps in particular has been on the rise among young people in recent years, which may be due to a reduction in the number of people immunised. You can help prevent measles, mumps and rubella by getting the MMR vaccine.

Two doses of MMR are required and they're usually given before the age of 25.

What if I don't know my vaccination history?

It's easy to lose track of which vaccinations you have and haven't had - if this is case for you, don't worry! For advice and information if you're unsure, please speak to your GP (general practitioner) or your local doctor if you're an international student.

When should I get my vaccinations?

To make sure you're immune, it's important to get any vaccinations done several weeks before you leave for university. 

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, you may find that vaccinations are currently not available. Speak to your GP or doctor for more information, as this will depend on policies currently in place in your local area. 

Where can I get more information?

All students can find more information about illnesses to look out for here on the UCL website

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student you should ask your doctor for these vaccinations before you leave your home country if you can. Don't worry if you can't get them done, as you may then be able to get them in the UK.

Although it's not a requirement, it's recommended that when you travel to the UK you bring along a copy of your vaccination record or other documents that show any vaccinations you've received, such as a letter from a doctor or a certification in English.

Last revised: 7 September 2021