THE FIGHT to tackle meningitis was highlighted at a Vaccines and Deadly Diseases Day.

The all-day event for young people on Friday at Oxford University Museum of Natural History was part of this year’s Oxfordshire Science Festival.

Among those taking part were Oxford University scientists who are trying to find a new meningitis vaccine.

Doctors and nurses from the Oxford Vaccine Group have been going around secondary schools swabbing teenagers’ throats to see how many have traces of meningococcal bacteria.

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On Friday, they explained their project to visitors and gave some swabbing demonstrations.

The researchers hope to swab 2,600 Oxford teenagers as part of the hunt for a new vaccine.

Clinical research fellow Amanda Wilkins said: “Up to 30 per cent of teenagers can get meningococcal bacteria colonies at the back of their throat, and teenagers and babies are at the highest risk.”

She added: “The other stalls on Friday were really interesting, too.”