TEENAGERS and students going to university for the first time have been urged to get vaccinated against meningitis.

North Yorkshire County Council has called for teenagers to get the free vaccine MenACWY, which protects against the potentially fatal infection.

Kathryn Ingold, consultant in public health for North Yorkshire, said cases of meningitis and blood poisoning had risen over the last eight years, and older teenagers and new university students were at higher risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of people.

Schoolchildren aged 13 to 14 are being offered the MenACWY vaccine, alongside the three-in-one teenage booster, and as a direct replacement for the MenC vaccination, and young people who were 14 on or after April 1, 2012, who missed vaccinations are advised to speak to their GP.