Diphtheria is an infectious disease spread by bacteria or germs that live in the mouth, throat and nose of an infected person. It is easily passed to others through coughing and sneezing.
Girls are offered the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine aged 12 to 13 in school year 8. The second dose is offered in Year 9 (6-12 months after 1st dose). It's important to have both doses to be protected.
Girls who start the HPV vaccination after the age of 15 will need 3 doses as they do not respond as well to 2 doses as younger girls do.
The HPV vaccine is effective at stopping girls getting the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers (99.7%), some anal and genital cancers, and cancers of the head and neck.
What is HPV?
HPV is the name given to a very common group of viruses. There are more than 100 different types of HPV, and around 40 that affect the genital area. HPV infections do not usually cause any symptoms, and most people will not know they're infected.
How does the HPV vaccine work?
Gardasil protects against 4 types of HPV: 6, 11, 16 and 18. Types 16 and 18 are the cause of more than 70% of cervical cancers in the UK. HPV types 6 and 11 cause around 90% of genital warts. Gardasil also helps protect against some head & neck cancers caused by HPV.
Most people will get a HPV infection at some point in their lives and their bodies will get rid of it naturally without treatment, but in some cases the infection stays in the body for many years and then, for no apparent reason, starts to cause damage.
HPV vaccination does not protect against other infections spread during sex, such as chlamydia, and it will not stop girls getting pregnant, so it's still very important to practise safe sex and to have regular cervical screening (smear test) from 25 years old, as this helps detect cell changes.
Why is the HPV vaccine given at such a young age?
HPV is very common and can be caught through any kind of sexual contact with another person who already has it. HPV infections can be spread by any skin-to-skin contact and are usually found on the fingers, hands, mouth and genitals. This means the virus can be spread during any kind of sexual activity, including touching.
The HPV vaccine works best if girls get it before they come into contact with HPV. In other words, before they become sexually active. So getting the vaccine when recommended will help protect them during their teenage years and beyond.
How is the HPV vaccination programme changing?
From the 2019-20 school year, 12 to 13-year-old boys will become eligible. This extension of the HPV vaccination programme will help prevent more cases of HPV-related cancers in boys and girls, such as head and neck cancers and anal and genital cancers.
A catch-up programme for older boys is not necessary, as evidence suggests they're already benefitting greatly from the indirect protection (known as herd protection) that's built up from 10 years of the girls' HPV vaccination programme.
(Taken from NHS Choices)
The Meningitis (Men) ACWY vaccine protects against four different strains (A, C, W and Y) of the meningococcal bacteria. Meningitis is caused by the meninges (the lining of the brain) becoming infected & swollen.
This can also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning) which is very serious. Those who do recover can be left with serious long-term health problems, such as amputation, deafness, blindness, epilepsy and learning difficulties.
The meningitis viruses are usually spread by people who carry the viruses or bacteria unknowingly in their nose or throat, but aren't ill themselves. This can be transmitted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, sharing utensils, toothbrushes etc.
People aged 15 to 24 are particularly at risk of catching meningitis. The Meningitis ACWY vaccination is routinely offered to all young people in School Year 9. Further education students aged 16-25 should contact their GPs to ensure they receive the vaccine if they have not had it in the last 10 years.
A virus can be spread very easily by airborne or droplet transmission. Symptoms include a rash, fever, cough and watery eyes. Measles also can cause pneumonia, brain damage, seizures or death.
Spread by airborne or droplet transmission causes fever, headaches and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. May develop a mild meningitis Also it can result in permanent hearing loss and serious complications particularly in males.
Rubella (German measles)
The virus usually causes mild sickness with fever, swollen glands and a rash. If a pregnant woman gets rubella, she can lose her baby, or the baby can be born blind, deaf, mentally retarded or with heart defects or other serious problems.
Paralytic polio is a virus that strikes children and adults and can cripple and kill. It is spread by contact with the faeces (bowel movement) of an infected person.
Is caused by a poison produced by a germ found in soil, dust and manure that can enter the body through a cut, wound or any break in the skin. Tetanus causes serious, painful spasms of muscles and can lead to "locking" of the jaw so a person cannot open his or her mouth, swallow, breath or move.