Measles Mumps And Rubella Vaccine
The MMR vaccine offers protection against measles, mumps and rubella infections. Meningitis can sometimes occur as a complication of mumps. Measles and rubella can cause encephalitis . In New Zealand, the MMR vaccine is free as part of the childhood immunisation schedule, for children at 15 months and 4 years of age. Read more about MMR vaccine.
You Got Meningitis Vaccination As A Child
You might have had a meningococcal group C vaccination as a child, however, due to an increase in type W across the UK you are now recommended to have the MenACWY vaccine.
This will boost your protection against Men C and also protect you against the types A, W and Y. It wont protect you against all the types of meningococcal disease which is why it is also important to know the signs and symptoms.
The Dangers Of Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease can cause both meningitis and septicaemia . Septicaemia and meningitis can trigger , which is a life-threatening response to infection.
Meningococcal disease is rare but very serious. It requires urgent hospital treatment.
It can lead to life-changing disabilities, such as amputations, hearing loss and brain damage.
The MenACWY vaccine was previously recommended only for people at increased risk of meningococcal disease, including people who have had their spleen removed, or have a spleen that does not work properly, for Hajj pilgrims, and for travellers to countries with high rates of meningococcal disease, including parts of Africa and Latin America.
Read about having the MenACWY vaccine before travelling on our page about travel vaccinations.
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How Can Meningococcal Disease Be Prevented
You can reduce risk for meningococcal disease by avoiding fluids from the nose or mouth, especially:
- Get vaccinated
- Avoid droplets from sneezing and coughing
- Avoid kissing
- Do not share eating utensils or drink from the same beverage container
- Do not smoke, but if you do smoke, do not share cigarettes or cannabis
- Wash hands well and often
There is some evidence that behaviors such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition and drinking alcohol may increase the risk of contracting this disease.
Managing Fever After Meningococcal Acwy Immunisation
Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary . Specific treatment is not usually required.
If fever is present, drinking extra fluids and not overdressing can help.
Although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended , if fever is present, paracetamol can be given. Check the label for the correct dose according to your childs weight or speak with your pharmacist, especially when giving paracetamol to children.
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Who Should Not Get A Meningococcal Vaccine
Your preteen or teen shouldn’t get the meningococcal vaccine if they:
- Has had a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to a meningococcal vaccine before or to any vaccine component
- Is moderately or severely ill
- Has ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome
Pregnant women can get the meningococcal vaccine, but it’s only recommended for those with certain immune problems or those likely to be exposed to meningitis. With the newer MCV4 and MenB vaccines, there hasn’t been as much study in pregnant women compared to the MPSV4 vaccine.
Noninfectious Meningitis: Head Injuries Surgery Cancer And Certain Medications
Noninfectious meningitis occurs due to diseases or injuries, not contagious infections. It may happen suddenly, such as when a head injury causes the membranes around the brain to swell. It can also develop gradually, such as when a poorly managed disease attacks the meninges.
- a recent head injury or brain surgery
- medications or
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What Is Bacterial Meningitis
Meningitis is a disorder where the meninges, a thin tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord, become inflamed. Bacterial meningitis is a rare form of the illness that can lead to serious complications like hearing loss, a stroke, or brain damage.
Bacterial meningitis can also damage other organs in your body. Theres still a lot that researchers are learning about the causes of bacterial meningitis.
Anyone can contract bacterial meningitis. Without timely medical intervention, bacterial meningitis can result in severe complications and even death. Early treatment is crucial.
People who may have an increased risk of contracting bacterial meningitis include:
- People who gather in large groups, like college students
- Individuals diagnosed with certain medical conditions
- People taking specific types of medication
- People who have recently undergone specific medical procedures
- Those who work with pathogens that can cause meningitis
- Individuals who travel to high-risk places like sub-Saharan Africa
Bacterial meningitis spreads from person to person contact. You can also get bacterial meningitis by eating food contaminated by certain germs.
Where Does Meningitis Occur
Some regions are more likely to have meningitis due to environmental or other factors. These higher risk zones include:
- The Meningitis Belt This region of sub-Saharan Africa has more meningitis cases than most of the world. Three countries, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Niger, account for 65 percent of meningitis cases in Africa. In some communities in the belt, one percent of the population will contract meningitis during an outbreak. The countries in the belt are : Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea.
- Sub-Saharan Africa The rest of the region does have occasional outbreaks. Regions of note are Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Hajj PilgrimageSaudi Arabia has seen some outbreaks during the pilgrimage. Proof of vaccination is required for entry into the country during this time.
In Canada, dorms, schools or other areas with long-term close contact are sites of infection. Many educational centers now require proof of meningitis vaccination for enrolling.
Meningitis vaccinations are available at all Passport Health clinics. Call or make your appointment online now to schedule your appointment today.
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Risk By Age Group And By Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Status
Children aged < 2 years
Children aged < 2 years have the highest incidence of meningococcal cases. The disease occurs most often in infants aged 35 months.
Adolescents aged 1519 years
A high number of meningococcal disease cases occurs among adolescents and young adults aged 1524 years, with peak rates of disease occurring in 1820-year-olds. Adolescents and young adults have the highest rate of meningococcal carriage and are thought to play an important role in transmitting the bacteria in a community.4
Adolescents and young adults in this age bracket who have a higher risk of acquiring the meningococcal bacteria are:
- people who live in close quarters, such as new military recruits and students living in residential accommodation
- people who have prolonged contact with a person who is carrying meningococcal bacteria5-7
- people who are smokers8-10
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have much higher incidence rates of meningococcal disease than non-Indigenous Australians.96 This is particularly among children aged < 15 years for the 2 most common meningococcal serogroups: B and W.
How Long Does The Meningitis Vaccine Last
Available data suggests that protection from meningococcal conjugate decreases in many teens within five years. Getting a booster, as determined by your health care provider, may be critical in maintaining protection when most at risk for meningococcal disease.
Some adolescents and young adults may also receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. The preferred age for receipt is 16 through 18 years so adolescents have protection during the ages of increased risk.2
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What Are The Symptoms Of Meningitis
Symptoms of meningococcal disease can include abrupt onset of high fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting and a rash. Symptoms most often appear within five days of exposure, but can appear between two to 10 days. Meningococcal disease is a very serious disease and can be fatal, in spite of treatment. Death can occur within a few hours after the onset of symptoms. Survivors often have loss of arms and legs, hearing loss, kidney failure, permanent brain damage or chronic nervous system problems. If you think you or your infant or child has any of these symptoms, call the doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important.
To learn more about how meningitis is spread, symptoms, treatment and what to do if you think youve been exposed, check out the New York State Department of Health Fact Sheet on Meningococcal Disease.
How Does Meningococcal Disease Occur
Approximately 10% of the general population carry meningococcal bacteria in the nose and throat in a harmless state. This carrier state may last for days or months before spontaneously disappearing, and it seems to give people who harbor the bacteria in their upper respiratory tracts some protection from developing meningococcal disease.
During meningococcal disease outbreaks, close to 95% of people may carry the bacteria, yet less than 1% of people develop meningococcal disease. This low occurrence of disease following exposure suggests that a person’s own immune system, in addition to bacterial factors, plays a key role in allowing the disease to develop.
Meningococcal bacteria cannot usually live for more than a few minutes outside the body. As a result, they are not easily transmitted in water supplies, swimming pools, or by routine contact with an infected person in a classroom, dining room, bar, rest room, etc.
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How Are The Bacteria Spread
These bacteria are passed from person-to-person through saliva . You must be in close contact with an infected persons saliva in order for the bacteria to spread. Close contact includes activities such as kissing, sharing water bottles, sharing eating/drinking utensils or sharing cigarettes with someone who is infected or being within 3-6 feet of an infected person who is coughing or sneezing.
Interchangeability Of Meningococcal Vaccines
If possible, complete the primary course of MenACWY vaccination with the same vaccine brand. If this is not possible, use an alternative brand following the dose recommendations by age. See Recommended dose schedules.
People can receive booster doses of MenACWY vaccine using any brand. Menveo or Nimenrix are preferred to Menactra in people aged 2 years.
Bexsero and Trumenba are not interchangeable. Use the same vaccine to complete the vaccination course.
The only absolute contraindications to meningococcal vaccines are:
- anaphylaxis after a previous dose of any meningococcal vaccine
- anaphylaxis after any component of a meningococcal vaccine
Previous meningococcal disease, regardless of the serogroup, is not a contraindication to receiving any meningococcal vaccine.
Previous vaccination with the strain-specific MenB vaccine used in New Zealand is not a contraindication to receiving either Bexsero or Trumenba.
Previous vaccination with a quadrivalent polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine is not a contraindication to receiving any MenACWY vaccine. See People who have previously received a meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine in Laboratory workers or Travellers.
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What Drives The Introduction Of Mandatory Vaccinations
Overall, we found that the occurrence of recent outbreaks is a major factor in the introduction of mandatory vaccination, particularly for high and upper-middle-income countries in Europe. Germany, for example, made measles vaccination mandatory for school and day-care attendance in 2020 following large outbreaks.52 Similarly, Serbia tightened mandatory vaccination laws following a measles outbreak in 2014 to 2015 by introducing harsher penalties.53 Trends of reported cases of measles can be explored in detail here.
Secondly, many low- and lower-middle-income countries have resorted to mandatory vaccination policies because of a lack of other policy options. Nonetheless, many have still missed their target vaccination rates due to problems with vaccine supply, delivery, and access. In Guyana for example, vaccination is mandatory, yet vaccination coverage is hindered by the management of the supply chain in keeping storage temperatures consistent and the distribution of freeze-sensitive vaccines.54 In Nigeria, vaccination is mandatory, and several states have enacted legislation criminalising vaccine refusal. Yet as Onyemelukwe argues, there are structural, logistical, political, systemic, religious and cultural obstacles to the effective distribution and uptake of vaccines, ranging from cold chain issues, to corruption and security issues.55 There is thus often variation between vaccination in policy compared to in practice.
Who Needs A Meningococcal Vaccine
The CDC recommends a meningococcal vaccine for:
- All children ages 11-18 or certain younger high-risk children
- Anyone who has been exposed to meningitis during an outbreak
- Anyone traveling to or living where meningitis is common, such as in sub-Saharan Africa
- Military recruits
- People with certain immune system disorders or a damaged or missing spleen
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What Is Acceptable Evidence Of Vaccination
Documentation must be in English, state the name and other information sufficient to identify the individual who received the required vaccination, state the month, date and year the vaccine was administered.
Rare Side Effects Of Meningococcal Immunisation
There is a very small risk of a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine. This is why you are advised to stay at the clinic or medical surgery for at least 15 minutes following immunisation in case further treatment is required.
If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact your doctor for further information.
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Determine If The Law Applies
1. Does the Bacterial Meningitis law apply to me?
YES, if you are
NO, you are exempt if you are:
2. How to comply with the law
- Submit proof of having received the bacterial meningitis vaccination within the last 5 years. OR
- Opt out of the vaccine by submitting an exemption form based on medical reasons, conscientious objection or taking only online courses.
Where And When Can I Get The Vaccine
Talk to your doctor or local public health clinic to find out where and when your child should get vaccinated.
- The cost of Men-C-C is covered everywhere in Canada.
- Many provinces currently cover the cost of MCV-4 vaccine.
- Currently, no provinces or territories cover the cost of Men-B vaccine for all children. Some provide it for children at high risk of getting meningococcal disease.
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Meningococcal Acwy Vaccine Side Effects
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is effective and safe, although all medications can have unwanted side effects.
Side effects from this vaccine are uncommon and are usually mild, but may include:
- localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last many weeks
- low-grade temperature
- children being unsettled, irritable, tearful, or generally unhappy, drowsy and tired.
Is It Too Late To Get Vaccinated
The answer to this question isnt so clear-cut. If you have an unvaccinated teen headed off to college, there is still time for them to get their vaccines. Your child may also need another shot if they had the vaccine as a preteen. Meningitis vaccines are thought to only last for about five years, according to the Center for Young Womens Health.
Adults can also get the meningitis vaccine if their doctors recommend it. Certain situations can warrant the use of meningitis vaccinations. Examples include spleen removal, going to military camp, or traveling overseas.
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Why You Should Vaccinate
Infectious diseases can spread among children and adolescents at school who are not vaccinated. As a parent, you can keep your kids healthy with routine health care and vaccines. Make sure your school-age children are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Infection from certain diseases can kill or seriously harm your child. Vaccines use weakened or killed virus or bacteria to trigger your childs natural immune response to provide long-term protection against a disease . It is like a rehearsal for the immune system, so your child is prepared if they are exposed to the “real” disease.
Vaccinations are safe
Vaccinations do not cause autism.
Scientific studies and reviews continue to show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Some people wont develop immunity to a disease after being vaccinated, but the vaccine itself cannot infect someone. If a vaccinated individual does contract a disease which they were vaccinated against, their illness will be less severe.
What Are Meningitis And Meningococcal Disease
Meningitis is an inflammation of the linings around the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Often, the symptoms of viral meningitis and bacterial meningitis are the same. Diagnosis of both viral and bacterial meningitis is confirmed by a lumbar puncture .
Viral meningitis is serious but rarely fatal in persons with normal immune systems. Usually, symptoms last 7-10 days and the person recovers completely. Many different viruses can cause meningitis. About 90% of cases of viral meningitis are caused by members of a group of viruses known as enteroviruses, such as coxsackieviruses and echoviruses. Herpes viruses and the mumps virus can also cause viral meningitis. There is no vaccination or treatment for viral meningitis .
Bacterial meningitis is of greater concern than viral meningitis, because it is associated with a significant risk of brain damage and death. Meningococcal meningitis, one type of bacterial meningitis, is of particular concern because while uncommon, it does affect college-age students and the disease may progress rapidly if untreated.
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