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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 .
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.
Muslims Undergoing The Hajj Or Umrah Pilgrimage
Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia are especially at risk of contracting meningococcal infection. There have been outbreaks in recent years. A proof of immunisation is needed to obtain a visa to go to Saudi Arabia for this purpose.
Note: some pilgrims may have been immunised in the past with an older vaccine which only protected against groups A and C. If you travel to Saudi Arabia again you should have an injection of the newer MenACWY vaccine. Proof of immunisation with MenACWY vaccine given within the preceding three years is now needed to get a new visa to visit Saudi Arabia.
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Physical Disabilities And After
- Hearing impairment or deafness, which may be temporary. A hearing test should be conducted within six weeks after the date of infection.
- Changes in eyesight or loss of eyesight, which may not necessarily be permanent.
- Brain damage
- Loss of balance or lack of co-ordination
- Tissue damage.
- Amputation of digits or limbs due to septicaemia which can cause blood clots in the small blood vessels supplying these parts of the body
- Weakness, paralysis or muscle spasms
What Is The Meningococcus
The meningococcus is a germ that can cause meningitis and blood infection . It can also cause other infections – for example, pneumonia, eye infection , joint infection and inflammation of the heart . It most commonly causes infections in babies under the age of 1 year. It can also cause infections in those aged 1-5 years and those aged 15-19 years.
Some of these infections are very serious and can be fatal if not treated quickly. There are different groups of meningococcal bacteria:
- Groups B, C and, more recently, W are the common strains in the UK. Most cases of bacterial meningitis in the UK are caused by group B. Most of the rest are caused by group C . Infection caused by group W has increased in the UK in recent years.
- Group A is rare in the UK but more common in certain parts of the world – in particular, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Saudi Arabia.
- Groups Y, 29E and Z are rare in the UK but group W has been the cause of several recent outbreaks in different parts of the world, including the UK.
Infection with the meningococcus can affect anyone but those most at risk are children aged under 5 years , teenagers and young adults under the age of 25.
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Who Needs To Get Vaccinated For Meningitis
Its especially important for you to keep all of your meningitis vaccinations up-to-date if you fall into a high-risk category for getting the disease. High-risk categories include:
- Certain Ages. Infants less than one-year-old and young adults between the ages of 16 and 21 are the most likely to develop meningitis. Its most important to have all boosters and available vaccinations at these ages.
- Crowded Settings. Large group settings like college campuses are where outbreaks of meningitis are the most common. Get your vaccines up-to-date before entering into these settings for extended periods of time.
- Certain underlying conditions. Some underlying medical conditions can increase your chance of getting meningitis. These include HIV and other conditions that weaken your immune system. Not having a spleen also places you at higher risk.
- Work that involves meningitis-causing agents. Microbiologists and any other researchers that regularly come into contact with the bacteria and viruses that cause meningitis are consistently at risk.
- Travel to certain areas. Some areas in the world like sub-Saharan Africa have higher rates of meningitis and the pathogens that cause it. Check with your doctor before traveling to new parts of the world.
High Risk Groups For Meningococcal Disease
Other people are not funded under the National Immunisation Program and will require a prescription to purchase the meningococcal vaccines. If you are in one of the following high-risk groups, speak to your doctor about which vaccines you should have, the number of doses required and how long protection will last:
- infants and young children, particularly those aged less than two years
- adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
- people who have close household contact with those who have meningococcal disease and who have not been immunised
- people who smoke and are aged 15 to 24 years
- people who are travelling to places, such as sub-Saharan Africa, that have epidemics caused by serogroups A, C, W and Y
- pilgrims to the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian authorities require a valid certificate of vaccination to enter the country
- people who work in a laboratory and who handle meningococcal bacteria
- people with HIV
- people who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant.
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Patients In Health Care Institutions
Residents of long-term care facilities should receive Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Refer to Recommendations for Use for information about pneumococcal vaccination of individuals at increased risk of IPD. Refer to Immunization of Patients in Health Care Institutions in Part 3 for additional information about vaccination of patients in health care institutions.
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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How Common Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is rare, striking annually about 1 in every 100,000 people in the general population. Rates in adolescents and young adults have increased over the last 10 years. The rate of meningococcal infection for students living in residence halls in the U.S. is about 2 in every 100,000 students. The rate of infection is highest among first year students living in residence halls, with about 5 in every 100,000 freshmen infected.
U-M reported a case of meningococcal meningitis in December 2014, November 2005 and in October 1995.
Are There Any Side
Most people have no side-effects. A mild high temperature may develop for a short time after baby injections. Some babies cry more and become irritable for a short time after the injection. Occasionally they may be sick or have diarrhoea. Slight swelling, pain and redness at the injection site may occur. Headache and muscle aches for a short time can occur in some older children.
None of the above side-effects is serious, and they soon settle. It is a good idea to give your baby a single dose of liquid infant paracetamol at the time of their MenB vaccine or soon after, as a high temperature is a little more common after this vaccine. If necessary, you can give paracetamol or ibuprofen to children to ease pain as well as fever following immunisation. Serious reactions are rare.
Uncommon side-effects, described in up to 1 in 100 people, are high fever, seizures , vomiting dry skin, itchy rash, skin rash, and paleness .
Rare side-effects include Kawasaki syndrome .
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How Effective Is Meningococcal Vaccine
Having the meningococcal vaccine does not give you lifelong protection against meningococcal disease. When you get the vaccine, it causes your body’s defence system to produce antibodies to fight against the infection if you come into contact with someone who has the illness. But, over time, the antibody levels decrease. In older children, adolescents and adults, protection is expected to last for around 5 years after vaccination.The number and quality of antibodies and how long they last depend on what type of vaccine is used, the meningococcal group covered by the vaccine and the age of the person receiving the vaccine.
Persons With Chronic Diseases
Two doses of Men-C-ACYW vaccine are recommended for persons with anatomic or functional asplenia, including sickle cell disease. When elective splenectomy is planned, all recommended vaccines should ideally be completed at least 2 weeks before surgery if only one dose can be given before surgery, the second dose should be given 8 weeks after the first dose, with a minimum interval of 4 weeks. In the case of an emergency splenectomy, two doses of vaccine should ideally be given beginning 2 weeks after surgery but can be given earlier, before discharge, if the person might not return for vaccination after discharge. Persons one year of age and older with asplenia who have not received Men-C-ACYW vaccine should receive two doses administered 8 weeks apart, with a minimum interval of 4 weeks. In addition, 4CMenB or MenB-fHBP vaccine should be offered. Periodic booster doses with Men-C-ACYW vaccine are also recommended.
Refer to Table 1 for vaccination recommendations of high risk individuals due to underlying conditions. Refer to Booster doses and re-immunization for additional information and Immunization of Persons with Chronic Diseases in Part 3 for additional general information.
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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.
Medical Conditions Resulting In High Risk Of Ipd
Table 1: Medical Conditions Resulting in High risk of IPD
IPD is more common in the winter and spring in temperate climates.
Spectrum of clinical illness
Although asymptomatic upper respiratory tract colonization is common, infection with S. pneumoniae may result in severe disease. IPD is a severe form of infection that occurs when S. pneumoniae invades normally sterile sites, such as the bloodstream or central nervous system. Bacteremia and meningitis are the most common manifestations of IPD in children 2 years of age and younger. Bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common presentation among adults and is a common complication following influenza. The case fatality rate of bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia is 5% to 7% and is higher among elderly persons. Bacterial spread within the respiratory tract may result in AOM, sinusitis or recurrent bronchitis.
Worldwide, pneumococcal disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 500,000 deaths among children aged less than 5 years are attributable to pneumococcal disease each year. In Canada, IPD is most common among the very young and adults over 65 years of age.
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How Is Menactra Given
Menactra is given as an injection into a muscle.
Menactra is recommended if:
you’ve been exposed to an outbreak of meningococcal disease
you are in the military
you work in a laboratory and are exposed to meningococcal bacteria
you live in a dormitory or other group housing
you live in or travel to an area where meningococcal disease is common
you have a medical problem affecting your spleen, or your spleen has been removed
you use a medicine called eculizumab or ravulizumab or
you have an immune system disorder called “complement component deficiency.”
Menactra is usually given only once to adults and children 2 years and older. You may need a booster dose if you have a high risk of meningococcal infection and it has been at least 4 years since you last received this vaccine. Younger children will need to receive 2 doses.
Your booster schedule may be different. Follow the guidelines provided by your doctor or local health department.
Be sure to receive all recommended doses of Menactra or you may not be fully protected against disease.
There are other types of meningococcal vaccine available. When you receive a booster dose, make sure you are receiving a vaccine for meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, or Y and not for serogroup B.
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.
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When To Get Vaccinations Against Viral Causes Of Meningitis
Unfortunately, there isnt a vaccine for the most common cause of viral meningitis called non-polio enteroviruses. In rare cases, other kinds of viral infections can lead to meningitis. These viral infections have vaccines that are available in the U.S. They include:
The vaccinations for these infections all have their own schedule for when you should get them the most frequent being your yearly flu shot. Measles and mumps vaccinations are first completed around the age of six then need to be updated in adolescence and adulthood. Talk to your doctor to make sure that youre up-to-date with your vaccinations.
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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Where Can I Get Vaccinated
The best place to go for vaccinations is your family medical clinic. They have your medical records and can check to see if youve already had a particular vaccination. Either your doctor or a nurse can give the vaccination.If you dont have a family doctor, you can go to one of the after-hour medical clinics. Ring them first to make sure they can help you with the vaccination you need.You can find a clinic near you on the Healthpoint website. Put in your address and region, and under Select a service, click on GPs/Accident & Urgent Medical Care.Vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule are free. Other vaccines are funded only for people at particular risk of disease. You can choose to pay for vaccines that you are not eligible to receive for free.
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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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.
Do Teens Need A Meningitis Vaccine Booster
If your kids were 11 or 12 years old when they were first vaccinated against meningitis, they may need a booster shot in their teens. It often depends on the type of meningitis vaccine that was given.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , teens and young adults may need a booster, or follow-up, meningitis vaccination, depending on when they were first vaccinated and any high-risk circumstances they might be facing.
Meningitis is an infection of the blood and cerebrospinal fluid with severe consequences, including hearing loss, learning delays, the loss of fingers or toes, and even death. A number of different types of bacteria, viruses, and even fungi can cause meningitis. One of the common causes of bacterial meningitis is the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. When children are vaccinated, it is to protect against several subtypes of this bacteria.
The risk for meningitis infections increases among teens and college students, in part because these groups spend so much time in close quarters, easily exposing one another to infectious agents. For many years, the meningitis vaccine used for teens was the MPSV4, or polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine. A new meningitis vaccine, the MCV4, or meningococcal conjugate vaccine, was approved in 2005. It is recommended for use in children over age 2 and in young adults, and is now usually given to kids at their 11- or 12-year-old check up, unless they needed to be vaccinated sooner.
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