Teenagers urged to get meningitis vaccination
Young people aged 16 to 18 will be invited to get a free vaccination that can help protect against meningitis and septicaemia.
The vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia - meningococcal A,C,W and Y diseases - and will be available at GPs from April 1.
Teenagers going to college and university are particularly encouraged to get the shot to prevent the spread of the disease, which has symptoms similar to flu and can be easily spread.
Dr Lucy Jessop, consultant in health protection at the Public Health Authority, urged teenagers to make use of the opportunity to protect themselves.
"Older teenagers are at higher risk of getting meningococcal W disease, so they need to help protect themselves," she said.
"Even if you have recently had the MenC vaccine, you should still get the MenACWY vaccine. It will increase your protection against MenC and provide protection against the three other meningococcal groups."