Who Should Get Meningococcal Vaccines
CDC recommends meningococcal vaccination for all preteens and teens. In certain situations, CDC also recommends other children and adults get meningococcal vaccines. Below is more information about which meningococcal vaccines, including booster shots, CDC recommends for people by age.
Talk to your or your childs doctor about what is best for your specific situation.
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.
When To Get Vaccinated
The key to the meningitis vaccines is to make sure that your teen gets them at the right time. Your child may get the MCV4 vaccine if they are:
- Between 11 and 15 years old. After the initial MCV4 vaccine, your teen will get a booster shot after five years.
- After the age of 16. In this case, your teen wont need the booster shot. Important to note: Its better to get the vaccines earlier rather than later. This will help prevent meningitis during your teens high school years.
- First-year college students. This applies to those who havent received a diagnosis or missed their booster shots.
- Those deemed by a pediatrician to need extra protection. This is due to underlying illnesses. Examples include immune system disorders or a damaged spleen.
Technically, the MenB vaccine is approved for children over the age of 10. Your doctor might recommend a dose at a younger age if your child has immune system deficiencies. But MenB is usually taken around the age of 16. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends MenB shots for teens ages 16 to 18. However, it may be given to young adults up to 23 years old.
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Vaccines For Your Young Children
During the early years of life, your children need vaccines to protect them from 14 diseases that can be serious and sometimes life-threatening. Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children increase the risk of disease not only for their own children, but also for other children and adults throughout the entire community. For example, vulnerable newborns too young to receive the maximum protection of vaccines or people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients or some people with cancer, are also at higher risk of disease.
Flu vaccines are recommended for children 6 months and older. Getting the flu vaccine for yourself and your children can help protect infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to be vaccinated. Ask your health care provider about getting a yearly flu vaccine to protect against flu.Parents can find out what vaccines their children need and when by reviewing CDCs recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule.
Where Can I Find These Vaccines
Your doctor is usually the best place to receive recommended vaccines for you or your child. These vaccines are part of the routine childhood immunization schedule. Therefore, vaccines for children and teens are regularly available at
- Pediatric and family practice offices
- Community health clinics
If your doctor does not have these vaccines for adults, ask for a referral.
Vaccines may also be available at
- Health departments
- Other community locations, such as schools and religious centers
You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get vaccines in your community.
When receiving any vaccine, ask the provider to record the vaccine in the state or local vaccine registry, if available. This helps providers at future visits know what vaccines you or your child have already received.
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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.
Who Should Get The Meningococcal Vaccine
- This vaccine is provided free to infants as part of their routine immunizations. The vaccine is given as a series of two doses. The first is given at 2 months of age, and the second at 12 months.
- This vaccine is also free for people:
- Born before 2002, who are 24 years of age and under who did not get a dose of vaccine on or after their 10th birthday.
- Who have been in close contact with someone with meningococcal type C disease.
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Routine Menacwy Vaccination Of Adolescents
All 11 to 12 year olds should receive a meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Since protection wanes, CDC recommends a booster dose at age 16 years. The booster dose provides protection during the ages when adolescents are at highest risk of meningococcal disease.
- For adolescents who receive the first dose at age 13 through 15 years, administer a booster dose at age 16 through 18 years, before the period of increased risk.
- Adolescents who receive their first dose of MenACWY vaccine at or after age 16 years do not need a booster dose.
- Adolescents who are at increased risk due to medical conditions need a 2-dose primary series of MenACWY vaccine administered 8 weeks apart, as well as regular booster doses every 5 years.
- CDC also recommends a booster dose for those at increased risk due to an outbreak if 5 or more years have passed since receiving MenACWY.
People Without A Spleen Or Whose Spleen Does Not Work Properly
If you do not have a spleen, or your spleen does not work properly, or you have a weakened immune system then it is likely to be recommended to you that you receive the MenB and the MenACWY vaccines. The timing of your vaccines will depend on your age. Your doctor will be able to advise you in more detail regarding this.
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Types Of Meningitis Vaccines
The Food and Drug Administration has approved two types of meningitis vaccines. Both of these vaccines protect against bacterial meningitis, which is the most common type of meningitis.
They do not offer protection from viral meningitis, which is more common. The two types of vaccines differ based on what strains of bacteria they protect against.
Meningitis B Is A Rare But Very Serious Disease
As the Mayo Clinic explains, meningitis is inflammation of the membrane that surrounds your brain and spinal cord . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , meningitis B is caused by the bacteria N. meningitidis. Illnesses caused by this bacteria are referred to broadly as meningococcal diseases.
The B in meningitis B refers to a serogroupa subtypeof N. meningitidis. The CDC notes that the five other serogroups that most commonly cause meningococcal disease are A, C, W, X, and Y.
The CDC explains that N. meningitidis already lives in the mouths and throats of about 10 percent of the population without causing any problems. It can be spread through spit and saliva, but is less contagious than viruses like the common cold or flu. It takes close, prolonged contact, e.g., kissing someone who is a meningitis B carrier, or being in the same room with them for a prolonged period of time while theyre coughing. Outbreaks are rare, but when they do occur, its often among people in cramped living conditions, such as army barracks or college dorms.
These are the main symptoms, as defined by the CDC, but this disease can often present in a more nuanced wayyou can read more about meningitis B symptoms here:
- A stiff neck
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Route Site And Needle Size
Administer meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningococcal vaccines by the intramuscular route. The preferred site for infants and young children is the vastus lateralis muscle in the anterolateral thigh. The preferred injection site in older children and adults is the deltoid muscle. Use a needle length appropriate for the age and size of the person receiving the vaccine.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines. Claims regarding alleged injury or death due to vaccination have a time limit for filing, which may be as short as two years. Visit the VICP website at or call to learn about the program and about filing a claim.
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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.
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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Requesting An Exemption For Medical Reasons Or Reasons Of Conscience
Students are encouraged to receive the meningitis vaccination because of the higher prevalence of this serious infection in adolescents and young adults. However, a student or the parent or guardian of a student may decline the meningitis vaccination for medical reasons, or for reasons of conscience.
Do not submit any exemption document to Undergraduate Admissions or the Student Health Center.
Texas State uses Magnus Health SMR for managing compliance with the meningitis requirement. Students subject to the bacterial meningitis requirement will receive an email from Magnus Health SMR with instructions. Students will be charged $10 by Magnus Health SMR for processing all exemption documents and verifying compliance with the requirement.
An exemption to the vaccination requirement may be requested by providing one of the following documents:
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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The Meningitis B Vaccine Can Help Prevent This Deadly Illness
Weve told you the scary stuff, now heres the part where we give you some reassuring news. First, any form of meningococcal diseaseincluding meningitis Bis relatively rare, and incidents have been on the decline in the last few decades. The CDC says that in 2017, there were about 350 total cases of meningococcal disease reported. Thats 0.11 cases per 100,000 people.
The other good news is that you can reduce your childs risk of getting meningitis B by making sure they get the meningitis B vaccine. The reason that we vaccinate against things is that they are severe diseases, even if they occur rarely, Adam J. Ratner, M.D., director of the division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at NYU Langone and associate professor in both the department of Pediatrics and department of Microbiology at NYU Langone, tells SELF.
The meningitis B vaccine introduces your body to a specific part of the bacteria cell, combined with whats called an adjuvantan extra material that helps boost the effectiveness of the immune responseso your body learns to produce antibodies that target that bacteria. Your body does not see the whole bacteria, and so it’s impossible to get the infection from the vaccine itself, Dr. Vyas explains. Theres more than one meningitis B vaccine available, but both require at least two doses for maximum effectiveness.
Guidance On Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization
To ensure the ongoing safety of vaccines in Canada, reporting of AEFIs by vaccine providers and other clinicians is critical, and in some jurisdictions, reporting is mandatory under the law.
Vaccine providers are asked to report AEFIs, through local public health officials, and to check for specific AEFI reporting requirements in their province or territory. In general, any serious or unexpected adverse event felt to be temporally related to vaccination should be reported.
For additional information about AEFI reporting, please refer to Adverse events following immunization. For general vaccine safety information, refer to Vaccine safety and pharmacovigilance in Part 2.
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Whats The Difference Between Pcv13 And Ppsv23
|helps protect you against 13 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria||helps protect you against 23 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria|
|usually given four separate times to children under two||generally given once to anyone over 64|
|generally given only once to adults older than 64 or adults older than 19 if they have an immune condition||given to anyone over 19 who regularly smokes nicotine products like cigarettes or cigars|
- Both vaccines help prevent pneumococcal complications like bacteremia and meningitis.
- Youll need more than one pneumonia shot during your lifetime. A 2016 study found that, if youre over 64, receiving both the PCV13 shot and the PPSV23 shot provide the best protection against all the strains of bacteria that cause pneumonia.
- Dont get the shots too close together. Youll need to wait about a year in between each shot.
- Check with your doctor to make sure youre not allergic to any of the ingredients used to make these vaccines before getting either shot.
- a vaccine made with diphtheria toxoid
- another version of the shot called PCV7
- any previous injections of a pneumonia shot
- are allergic to any ingredients in the shot
- have had severe allergies to a PPSV23 shot in the past
- are very sick
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.
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