How Is Meningococcal Disease Spread And Who Is Most At Risk
Meningococcal disease is not as contagious as other illnesses, such as a cold or the flu. But it is spread by contact with infected respiratory and throat secretions. That can happen with coughing, kissing, or sneezing.
Because the risk increases with close or prolonged contact with an infected person, family members in the same household and caregivers are at an increased risk. For the same reason, so are college students who live in dormitories.
Successes And Failures Of Live Attenuated Vaccines
There are currently 13 diseases for which live, attenuated vaccines have been developed and licensed for commercial use . Development of successful vaccines is typically easier when there is a single serotype, the pathogen is antigenically stable, diagnostic tests/clinical criteria for measuring disease burden are available, and the vaccine is both safe and effective. Smallpox vaccination with vaccinia virus is the most famous example of a highly effective vaccine and at the time when people were faced with smallpox outbreaks, this vaccine was associated with each of these characteristics that led to the implementation of a successful vaccine. The smallpox vaccine is not only the first vaccine ever developed , but since Variola virus no longer exists in nature, this also represents the first example in which a vaccine was purposefully used to drive a species to extinction. Some of the best examples of successful live, attenuated vaccines include those developed against measles, mumps, and rubella . In contrast, other live, attenuated vaccines such as the oral polio vaccine and the first licensed vaccine against rotavirus serve as important reminders that vaccines must be safe if they are going to be used successfully for routine vaccination.
Is It Possible To Get The Vaccine And Still Get Meningitis
Because the vaccines do not protect against all causes of meningitis, it is still possible that someone could receive the vaccine and still get meningitis from a different strain not protected by the vaccine. But the risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis is significantly lower after the vaccine.
There are other causes of meningitis that are preventable. Vaccines like the Hib vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine are also very effective at protecting against other causes of meningitis and should be included as part of a routine childhood vaccination schedule. Check with your doctor and your children’s doctor to make sure that you and your family are protected against meningitis, as well as other serious illnesses.
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Imd Surveillance In The Netherlands
The national IMD surveillance system is based on 2 data sources: notifications from the Regional Public Health Service and laboratory data from the Netherlands Reference Laboratory for Bacterial Meningitis . Data from these 2 sources are linked on a national level by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. In short, the notification of a case with clinical information from the RPHS, combined with a report of microbiological data including the serogroup from the NRLBM, results in a complete overview of all nationally occurring IMD cases. Linking between the 2 sources was possible for 87% of all unique records, as described previously .
Older Children And The Menacwy Vaccine
From September 2015 MenACWY began being routinely offered to schoolchildren aged 14-15. . It is also offered to those aged 17-18 and young adults under the age of 25. This is because of a rise in infection with group W meningococcus in this age group.
If you are under the age of 25 and have not been immunised, see your doctor or practice nurse to get immunised. This is particularly important if you are about to start university for the first time, as the risk of infection with group W meningococcus is highest in first-year university students. Just one injection of vaccine is needed if you are over the age of 1 year.
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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.
What Are The Options For Meningococcal Vaccine
Meningococcal vaccine is highly effective at protecting against four strains of the meningococcal bacteria. Three strains are common in the United States and the fourth strain protects travelers to certain countries where the disease is more common.
The MenACWY vaccine does not contain the meningococcal B strain that is more commonly found in infants and may cause some cases in adolescents. There is an additional vaccine, meningococcal B vaccine , that contains the B strain. If your clinic does not carry the MenB vaccine, you can ask them to order it for you, or to refer you to another clinic that has the vaccine. Talk to your health care provider about getting this additional vaccine.
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Simultaneous Administration With Other Vaccines
Men-C-C and 4CMenB vaccine may be administered concomitantly with routine childhood vaccines, and Men-C-ACYW vaccine may be administered concomitantly with adolescent and adult age appropriate vaccines. MenB-fHBP can be given concomitantly with quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine meningococcal serogroup A, C, Y, W conjugate vaccine and tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine adsorbed. The concomitant administration of MenB-fHBP has not been studied with other vaccines.
Men-C-ACYW-CRM can be administered with routine paediatric vaccines however, further studies are needed with regard to concomitant administration with pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine. Co-administration of Men-C-ACYW-CRM and combined tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine may result in a lower immune response to the pertussis antigens than when Tdap vaccine is given alone however, the clinical significance of this is unknown. Tdap vaccine given one month after Men-C-ACYW-CRM induces the strongest immunologic response to pertussis antigens.
If vaccines are to be administered concomitantly with another vaccine, a separate injection site and a different syringe must be used for each injection.
Refer to Timing of Vaccine Administration in Part 1 for additional general information.
What Are The Risks From Meningococcal Vaccine
Most people have mild side effects from the vaccine, such as redness or pain where the shot was given. A vaccine, like any medicine, may cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. This risk is extremely small. Getting the meningococcal vaccine is much safer than getting the disease.
You can learn more on the Vaccine Information Statements for meningococcal ACWY and meningococcal B.
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You Are Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
- Pregnant women who are at increased risk for serogroup A, C, W, or Y meningococcal disease may get MenACWY vaccines.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women who are at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease may get MenB vaccines. However, they should talk with a doctor to decide if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risks.
Is Meningococcal Vaccine The Same As Meningitis Vaccine
The 2 types of meningococcal/meningitis vaccines offer protection against the ACWY and B strains of Neisseria bacteria that can cause meningitis . A pneumococcal vaccine is routinely administered to infants and young children which helps to prevent pneumococcal meningitis, a rare complication of invasive pneumococcal disease.
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Book A Pharmacy Appointment Today
Need a meningitis vaccination? Book a consultation today.
There are three types of vaccine against meningococcal infection:
- One type of vaccine protects against group C only – the MenC vaccine.
- One type of vaccine called the MenACWY vaccine protects against groups A, C, W and Y.
- One type of vaccine protects against group B only – the MenB vaccine .
The vaccine stimulates your immune system to protect you against meningococcal infection should you become infected with the germs .
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Meningococcal Vaccines
Some of the most common side effects are swelling, redness, and pain at the site of the injection, along with headache, fever, or tiredness. Serious problems, such as allergic reactions, are rare.
The meningococcal vaccines contains only a small piece of the germ, so it can’t cause meningococcal disease.
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Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
Studies of primary impact and effectiveness of currently available meningococcal vaccines were included, published from January 1999 March 2017, in any language. The review focused on the meningococcal polysaccharide, polysaccharide-protein conjugate, and protein sub unit vaccines, and considered any serogroup except for serogroup A. The outcomes of interest were clinically-compatible and/or laboratory-confirmed meningococcal cases and deaths due to meningococcal disease.
The following study types were excluded: case series, case reports, and randomized controlled trials and economic, cost-benefit, and modelling studies. Additionally, studies performed in Africa related to meningococcal A vaccine were excluded for not being relevant to Latin American and the Caribbean, as were those studies specifically targeting patients with sickle cell disease, HIV-infection, or conditions known to affect immune response. Others excluded were: studies that considered only the disease of selected serogroups without denominators, adverse events, or immunogenicity studies of nasopharyngeal carriage studies considering only laboratory data studies with all-cause mortality and hospitalization as primary outcomes and studies that assessed only nosocomial infections.
Are Both Meningococcal Vaccines Equally Effective
The MCV4, MPSV4 and MenB vaccines are about 85-90% effective in preventing meningococcal disease. There are actually several types of N meningitidis — the bacterium that causes meningococcal disease, five of which are common in the U.S. These vaccines together protect against all five of these strains.
MCV4 has not been available long enough to compare the long-term effectiveness of the two vaccines. But most experts think that MCV4 provides better, longer-lasting protection.
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Why Are Meningococcal Vaccines Recommended
Meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria. It can lead to an infection of the bloodstream or meningitis, or both, and can be life-threatening if not quickly treated. The MenACWY vaccine is very effective at protecting against four strains of the bacteria, while the MenB vaccine protects against a fifth strain.
Can Your Body Fight Off Meningococcal Meningitis Without Treatment
Meningococcal infection is a medical emergency as it can be rapidly fatal. Antibiotics are effective in the treatment of invasive meningococcal disease and they are administered early, often before Neisseria bacteria are identified to prevent severe infection. Even with antibiotics, around 10 percent of cases will experience long-term complications and approximately 10 – 15 percent of cases result in death.
Close contacts of confirmed meningococcal cases are also given a course of antibiotics to protect them from developing the infection.
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Acwy Vaccination Is Free For Some People
In Victoria, immunisation against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W and Y is available for free as part of the National Immunisation Program schedule for:
- children aged 12 months
- children from 13 months to under 20 years of age, who did not have their meningococcal C vaccine at 12 months
- young people in Year 10 of secondary school
- young people not in secondary school, aged 15 to 19 years.
Young people in the 15 to 19 years age group are more likely to spread the disease to others. One in five people in this age group carry the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. Immunisation experts have advised that immunising this age group can prevent spread to other age groups and protect the wider community.
Eligible young people who are away from school on the day the vaccine was given, or who do not attend secondary school, can attend either a local government community immunisation session, or a general practitioner to receive the free meningococcal ACWY vaccine. The GP may charge a consultation fee.
Contact your local government to find out when and where immunisation sessions are held.
- People with specified medical risk conditions can also receive free meningococcal ACWY vaccine. This includes people with:
- a poorly functioning spleen or no spleen, including sickle cell disease or other haemoglobinopathies
- defects in, or a deficiency of, a complement component, including factor H, factor D or properdin deficiency
- current or future treatment with eculizumab .
Is Meningitis Contagious
The contagiousness is related to the specific agent that causes the disease. The following is a summary of five types of meningitis and how they may or may not be contagious.
- Viral meningitis: Meningitis caused by many viruses is usually contagious. However, certain viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes are usually not spread person to person, so they are not contagious.
- Bacterial meningitis: Bacterial meningitis is usually contagious some bacteria more highly contagious than others.
- Fungal meningitis: Fungal meningitis is not considered to be contagious.
- Parasitic meningitis: Parasitic meningitis, which is rare , is not considered to be contagious from person to person.
- Noninfectious meningitis: Noninfectious meningitis is not a result of infection but is from an underlying condition or disease and not considered contagious. Causes of noninfectious meningitis include cancers in and around the brain or spinal cord, drugs, head injury, and autoimmune disease .
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How Effective Is It
A 2021 study examined Bexsero using data from Quebec, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and South Australia to determine its safety and effectiveness.
The researchers found that meningitis B rates decreased by 50 to 100 percent in vaccine-eligible populations. The vaccines were found to be 79 to 100 percent effective in people who received two or more doses.
Clinical trials have found promising results for Trumenba as well. is needed to understand its true effectiveness, but researchers believe that it can also provide a high level of protection.
What Are The Side Effects From The Meningococcal Vaccines
With any vaccine, there is the potential of a severe allergic reaction within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. But the likelihood that the meningococcal vaccines would cause a severe reaction is extremely slight.
About one out of every two people who get the shot experience mild reactions such as redness or a mild pain where the shot was given. Those usually go away in one to two days. A small percentage of people develop a mild fever.
There have been reports that a few people have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome after receiving MCV4. But experts say it occurs so rarely that it’s not possible to tell if it’s related to the vaccine or coincidental.
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Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccine
Before a vaccine became available for it, Haemophilus influenzae type b was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Hib is much less common today due to vaccinations.
Doctors usually administer the Hib vaccine at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. They will administer it again between the ages of 12 and 15 months.
The dosing regimen depends on the brand of vaccine an infant receives.
Doctors will give this vaccine either alone or as part of a combination vaccine.
Who Should Get Which Meningococcal Vaccine And When
Although MCV4 is the preferred vaccine for most people, if it is not available when it’s time for the vaccination, MPSV4 can be used.
Routine immunization with the meningococcal vaccine MCV4 is recommended for children ages 11 or 12, with a booster to be given between ages 16 and 18. Vaccinations are also recommended for the following groups:
- College freshmen living in a dorm
- Military recruits
- Someone who has a damaged spleen
- Someone whose spleen has been removed
- Someone with terminal complement component deficiency
- Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria
- Someone traveling to or residing in a country where the disease is common
- Someone who has been exposed to meningitis
Preteens who are 11 and 12 usually have the shot at their 11- or 12-year-old checkup. An appointment should be made to get the shot for teenagers who did not have it when they were 11 or 12.
The vaccine may be given to pregnant women. However, since MCV4 and MenB are newer vaccines, there is limited data about their effect on pregnant women. They should only be used if clearly needed.
Anyone who is allergic to any component used in the vaccine should not get the vaccine. It’s important to tell your doctor about all your allergies.
People with mild illness such as a cold or congestion can usually get the vaccine. But people who are moderately or severely ill at the time of vaccine administration should wait until they recover.
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Is Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccine Mandatory
Bacterial meningococcal disease is a very serious infection that can cause severe scarring, loss of limbs, brain damage and death.
Meningococcal ACWY for children at 12 months of age is a requirement of the no jab no play legislation for enrolment to childcare on a national level. There are further requirements for the individual states and territories. More information here.
While there is a general recommendation for anyone who wants to protect their young children aged 6 weeks and over against meningococcal disease, to receive MenACWY vaccine and MenB vaccine, the advice provided in the Australian Immunisation Handbook is that there is a strong recommendation for the following groups to be vaccinated:
- Infants and children under 2 years of age
- Healthy adolescents aged 1519 years
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2 months to 19 years
- People with medical conditions that increase their risk of invasive meningococcal disease
- Laboratory workers
- Travellers to areas where meningococcal disease is more common, or who travel to mass gatherings such as the Hajj
Vaccination with both MenACWY and MenB vaccines is strongly recommended for: