As the new term starts for Scottish universities and colleges, Public Health Scotland (PHS) is ensuring people are aware of the importance of vaccination and the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

Vaccines offer the best protection against certain causes of meningitis. Anyone who is under 25 years of age and has not yet had the free meningitis ACWY vaccine is encouraged to take up the offer. Students who have moved to Scotland from overseas are encouraged to make sure they are up to date with vaccinations offered for free by NHS Scotland.

Meningitis can be very serious and life threatening if not treated quickly. It is important to be aware of signs and symptoms of meningitis as they can develop suddenly. You should seek medical advice as soon as possible if you’re concerned that you, your child, or someone you know could have meningitis. 

As is often the case in winter, we have seen a small increase in invasive meningococcal disease, including meningitis, in recent weeks.

Please be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis which can be found at

Call NHS24 free on 111 to seek urgent medical help if you become concerned.

To find out how you can get these vaccines, as well as any others you may be eligible for, please visit

Last updated: 01 February 2024