On 2 August, The Majorca Daily Bulletin publicised the fact that the deadly Meningitis W virus is increasing so rapidly in UK universities and colleges that the government is telling all students to get vaccinated against it before returning to university.
The BBC and other media have carried extensive coverage of this story, but here in Spain many students may have missed the campaign.
The vaccine required is one that covers Meningitis A, C, W135 and Y. It is little used in Spain and does not exist on Majorca.
However, two versions of the vaccine can be imported from Barcelona. These are Menveo – produced by Novartis – and Nimenrix – produced by GSK.
Clinica Juaneda have realised that there are a large number of students going to study in the UK and have set up a programme to import the vaccine in time for vaccinations to take place before the September exodus.
The Clinic urgently needs to know how many vaccines to order so a list has been started and the order will be placed next week, because the vaccine can take up to two weeks to arrive. The vaccination involves a single shot and then the student will be fully protected.
Students from the international schools of Queens, Agora, Bellver, BIS , King Richard and Palma College plus some others all need to be alerted to the need to get vaccinated, especially as the Meningitis W virus is more virulent than many other meningitis strains and is frequently not accompanied by the tell-tale rash until it is already too late to save the victim. One curious feature of this virus is that feet and hands become suddenly cold.