Students across the South, heading off to University next month, are being urged to get vaccinated against Meningitis W. It's one of the most aggressive and deadly strains of the virus, and cases have been increasing year on year to nearly 200 cases in the past 12 months.
Parents and children have come out in support of a family battling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children - after their daughter died from the illness earlier this year.
An online petition calling for the move has become the most signed in Parliamentary history, following the death of two year old Faye Burdett in February.
Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Faye's parents Neil and Jenny, and Rachel Cattell, organiser of today's event.
MPs will debate a petition to give all children the Meningitis B vaccine after it attracted more than three quarters of a million signatures.
The petition was launched following the death of two-year-old Faye Burdett from Maidstone. The government only plan to vaccinate children between two and five months. The e-petition has attracted more signatures than any other in parliamentary history.
A seasonal increase in meningitis has prompted calls to students to protect themselves by having the latest vaccine. Cases of the disease peak each winter. Teenagers are the second most 'at risk' group after babies and toddlers.
A Southampton mum, whose baby son survived meningitis, is encouraging parents to get their babies vaccinated against the disease.
Amy Carson knows how important it is to protect your child from the illness and is using Meningitis Research Foundation’s Awareness Week to get the message across.
From the start of September, the UK introduced a comprehensive vaccination programme against meningococcal B (MenB) meningitis and septicaemia for babies. Amy is urging parents to take advantage of it.
Her son, Oscar, was just 6 months old when he was struck by the disease last year:
Chris Head, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, says it is vital people are aware of the symptoms. Meningitis can strike anyone, at any time, and there are also vaccination programmes for teenagers and first time university students. Meningitis kills one in ten, and leaves a third of survivors with severe life altering effects such as deafness, brain damage and loss of limbs.
A woman from Farnham who almost died from meningitis has told ITV Meridian she's appalled at delays in introducing a vaccine to save lives.
Last March, a jab which could protect millions of children was approved - but it still isn't available on the NHS because of a dispute over how much it costs.
The Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that there are around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. As many as one in ten of those affected will die.
And a third of survivors will be left with serious, life-long disabilities such as brain damage, amputation and blindness.
22-year-old Amy Davis, who contracted meningitis four years ago, is now urging the government to make the vaccine available as soon as possible.
Mel Bloor reports
A woman from Farnham who almost died of meningitis has told ITV Meridian she's appalled at delays in introducing a vaccine to save lives.
22-year-old Amy Davis - who had to have a leg amputated and a hip replaced - is urging the government to make the jab, which was approved last March, available as soon as possible.
The delay is down to a dispute over the vaccine's cost.
As many runners out there will know we are nearing the marathon season and many are in training ahead of the Brighton marathon which takes place in April.
When the race was under way last year, Andy and Emily Squires from Hove had just been told their 8 month old son, Thomas, was suffering from meningitis.
As they watched the crowds from a hospital window, they vowed that whatever happened, they'd take part this year. Charlotte Wilkins has their story.
If you'd like to find out more about Thomas' journey, then go to: http://www.justgiving.com/Emily-Squires
Meningitis can have a devastating effect, with possible brain damage and the loss of limbs. Until recently there hasn't been a way of preventing Meningitis B. But experts in Southampton are trialling a new vaccine - before the government decides if it will be used here in the UK.
Around 1870 people contract the infection each year. Many of them children under five or babies. And one in 10 survivors have major physical or neurological disabilities.
The experts at Southampton are still looking for volunteers. So if you're aged between 10 to 18 years of age and are interested you can contact the Meningitis Trial team at the Southampton Research Facility on 023 81204989. Or email: Danny.firstname.lastname@example.org