The programme was scheduled to run until the end of October but will now run until March 2015.
Until then the Men C booster is available to any student entering university for the first time who has not received a teenage booster and for those under 25 years of age who have never been vaccinated.
The decision has been welcomed by Meningitis Now. Chief Executive, Sue Davie, said: “Anyone in their first year of university who hasn’t had the booster should arrange to get it as soon as possible. If in doubt, there’s no harm in having an extra dose.”
Provisional figures from Public Health England show that 21 cases of meningococcal disease have been reported in university students since the start of the academic year in September 2014. Although only two of these have been confirmed as due to serogroup C infection, the total number emphasises the higher risk of disease that occurs in students at this time of year.
Sue added: “Only this morning a student contacted us to tell us about his experience of meningitis. He told us ‘unfortunately, before falling ill, I hadn’t heard much about meningitis and wasn’t vaccinated. I would love to increase awareness as this is such a serious disease and affects people in my age group’.
“Please heed his advice and ours, get vaccinated and learn the signs and symptoms, so you can look after yourself and your friends.”