FIONA Bruce is taking a leading role in a campaign to help protect young people’s health.

The MP for Middlewich has signed up to promote meningitis awareness and vaccination take-up with GPs following a Parliamentary reception organised by Meningitis Now.

The charity is campaigning to increase the take-up of the lifesaving Men ACWY vaccine, which is available free to school leavers aged 17 and 18, and to first-time university students up to the age of 25.

Vaccination uptake stands at just 33 per cent of those eligible, and Meningitis Now estimates this leaves 1.5 million young people at risk.

Mrs Bruce said: “The low uptake of the Men ACWY vaccine among this at-risk group of young people is very worrying.

“I don’t want to see anyone in my constituency dying because they didn’t know about or didn’t get around to getting this vaccination.

“As we move towards the peak season for bacterial meningitis I’ll be writing to local GP practices to urge them to do more to promote awareness and encourage improved take-up.”

More than 12 per cent of all cases occur in the 14 to 24 age group, with first year students being at particular risk.

Meningitis Now is funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness about the disease, and supporting those who live with it.

Dr Tom Nutt, chief executive of Meningitis Now, added: “We welcome Fiona Bruce’s strong stand and support in persuading GPs to encourage students to protect themselves and look forward to working with them to help spread this vital health message.”

For more information on meningitis and the work of Meningitis Now visit