YouthView: Understanding risk behaviours for meningitis among young people

While meningococcal meningitis is relatively uncommon, it is unpredictable, may progress very rapidly and can lead to death in as little as 24 hours of first symptoms.1,2 According to one study, the bacteria that can cause the disease are carried asymptomatically in the nasopharynx of up to almost one in four (24%) 19-year-olds; although for most it will not cause the disease.3

This YouthView study was published in 2018, communicating the results of a large, multi-country survey to assess the behaviours linked to meningitis risk factors of adolescents and young adults in key European markets: France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal.

Key Findings:

  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of 15-24 year olds and over half (56%) of parents of adolescents and young adults are unaware that adolescents are at heightened risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis compared to some other age groups.1
  • 41% of adolescents and young adults engage in at least 3 risk factors every two weeks (that potentially expose them to the bacteria that can lead to disease).2,4,5 *
  • Less than half of parents identified common symptoms such as drowsiness/fatigue (47%), a dislike of bright lights (35%) and a rash/blotchy skin (17%) with meningococcal meningitis.#
  • Further, more than half (56%) of young people (in Italy, Spain and Greece) do not think or do not know if they have ever received a vaccination against meningitis.#, **

The YouthView (Understanding Risk Behaviours for Meningitis among Young People) survey is based on over 4,500 interviews among adolescents (15-17 years old), young adults (18-24 years old) and parents of young people in each respective age category. The interviews were conducted via an online survey between February and June 2018. The YouthView survey, sponsored by Pfizer Vaccines***, shows that across key European markets, there is a generally poor understanding about the risks for contracting meningococcal meningitis.

Sample quotas+ were imposed to ensure national representation based on age, gender and region. Corrective weights have been applied to bring the sample in line with the population profile per country, as well as ensuring that each country is represented accordingly for all data points presented at a combined market level.

Ipsos MORI would now like to invite those interested to have full access to the wealth of findings included in our country reports and infographics.

Country reports

Download the France report (PDF)

Download the Greece report (PDF)

Download the Italy report (PDF)

Download the Portugal report (PDF)

Download the Spain report (PDF)


Pfizer Infographic - France report - Ipsos


Download the France infographic (PDF)

Download the Greece infographic (PDF)

Download the Italy infographic (PDF)

Download the Portugal infographic (PDF)

Download the Spain infographic (PDF)

Global report

Pfizer Global report - Ipsos

Download the Global report (PDF)

Download the Global infographic (PDF)

*The behaviours risk factors are; Go to music concerts/gigs, Go to the cinema, Go to youth/social clubs (e.g. scouts etc.), Go to pubs or bars, Participate in team sports (e.g. football, rugby, volleyball etc.), Attend sport clubs (e.g. dancing, tennis etc.), Spend time in nightclubs, Socialise with a large group of friends (5 or more)

# Among those that are aware of meningitis

**Meningococcal meningitis

***Pfizer International Operations, RCS 491 295 671 Paris, France

+ Quotas were based on 2011 Eurostat census data


[1] European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC). Surveillance of invasive bacterial diseases in Europe 2014. Available at: Accessed January 18, 2018.

[2] World Health Organization. Meningococcal meningitis, fact sheet No.141. Available at: Updated November 2015. Accessed December 3, 2017.

[3] Christensen H, May M, Bowen L, Hickman M, Trotter CL. Meningococcal carriage by age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2010; 10(12): 853–861. Available at: Accessed January 18, 2018.

[4] MacLennan J, Kafatos G, Neal K, et al. Social Behavior and Meningococcal Carriage in British Teenagers. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006; 12(6): 950-957. Available at: Accessed January 18, 2018.

[5] Memish ZA, Goubeaud A, Bröker M, Malerczyk C, Shibl AM. Invasive meningococcal disease and travel. J Infect Pub Health. 2010; 3: 143-151. Available at: Accessed January 18, 2018.