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.
Meningococcal Vaccine For Teens
Experts recommend the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for children when they are age 11 or 12. Teens who have not yet had this shot also need it. That’s especially the case if they are at risk for getting meningitis or have a weakened immune system. Your child should then have a booster shot at age 16, or 5 years after the first vaccine. If your child gets the first shot at age 16 or older, a booster dose is not needed.
Meningococcal Vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide
For health professionals
Latest partial content update :
: The chapter has been updated to align with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Statement : The Use of Bivalent Factor H Binding Protein Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine for the Prevention of Meningococcal B Disease.
MenB-fHBP vaccine may be considered as an option for use in individuals 10 years of age and older in situations when a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine should be offered:
MenB-fHBP vaccine may be considered as an option for individuals 1025 years of age who are not at higher risk of meningococcal disease than the general population, but who wish to reduce their risk of invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease.
Last complete chapter revision: May 2015
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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.
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.
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What You Need To Know About Meningitis Vaccines
Spinal meningitis, which is an inflammation that affects the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord, is a serious and potentially deadly health problem. However, there are several effective vaccines available now that can help the immune system fight some types of meningitis. In fact, vaccines have helped reduce many cases of meningitis that once occurred.
Spinal meningitis cases in the U.S. are at an all-time low, and doctors think that’s due to the increase in vaccinations for the disease. In 1989, for instance, there were 1.1 cases for every 100,000 people. As of 2017, that rate was only 0.11 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The frequency with which we encounter meningitis is much diminished compared to 20 or 30 years ago. It’s one of the unsung stories of public health and vaccinations,” says Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine in the department of health policy and professor of medicine with the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Types of Meningitis Vaccines
There are actually many different types of meningitis. Not every type has a vaccine available. Some different types of meningitis include:
— Bacterial meningitis.
— Parasitic meningitis.
— Noninfectious meningitis.
— Hearing loss.
Other Indications for Meningitis Vaccines
Common Side Effects of Meningitis Vaccines
— Redness or pain at the injection site.
What If I Am An International Student
Im an international student. Will a vaccination from my home country fulfill UHs requirement?
Yes, a vaccination record from a country outside the U.S. will meet the requirements. If the vaccination record is in a language other than English, we will need an English translation of the document.
How far in advance should I plan to arrive in the U.S.. in order to receive the vaccine/booster shot?
If you plan to receive the vaccine in the U.S., you should arrive no later than 2 weeks prior to the first day of classes. You must receive the vaccination at least 10 days before the first day of classes for the semester, and you will be required to wait 10 days after your vaccination date to move into campus housing.
As an international student, can I present medical documentation from my country in order to get an exemption due to medical reasons?
Unfortunately, the law requires that you visit a doctor in the U.S.. to be able to get an exemption for medical reasons. We recommend that you bring an English translation of your records with you, so that you can present them to a U.S. physician. You will need to make sure that your travel arrangements will give you sufficient time to visit a doctor in the U.S.
As an international student, how can I get an exemption for reasons of conscience?
You must follow the same guidelines and procedures outlined for domestic students. Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services for more information.
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What Is Bacterial Meningitis
Acute bacterial meningitis is the most common form of meningitis. Approximately 80 percent of all cases are acute bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be life threatening. The infection can cause the tissues around the brain to swell. This in turn interferes with blood flow and can result in paralysis or even stroke.
Global Public Health Response Elimination Of Meningococcal A Meningitis Epidemics In The African Meningitis Belt
In the African meningitis belt, meningococcus serogroup A accounted for 8085% of meningitis epidemics before the introduction of a meningococcal A conjugate vaccine through mass preventive campaigns and into routine immunization programmes . As of April 2021, 24 of the 26 countries in the meningitis belt have conducted mass preventive campaigns targeting 1-29 year olds , and half of them have introduced this vaccine into their national routine immunization schedules. Among vaccinated populations, incidence of serogroup A meningitis has declined by more than 99% – no serogroup A case has been confirmed since 2017. Continuing introduction into routine immunization programmes and maintaining high coverage is critical to avoid the resurgence of epidemics.
Cases of meningitis and outbreaks due to other meningococcal serogroups, apart from serogroup B, continue to strike. The roll out of multivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines is a public health priority to eliminate bacterial meningitis epidemics in the African Meningitis Belt.
The pneumococcus has over 97 serotypes, 23 causing most disease.
Haemophilus influenzae has 6 serotypes, serotype b causing most meningitis.
- Conjugate vaccines protect specifically against Haemophilus influenzae serotype b . They are highly effective in preventing Hib disease and are recommended for routine use in infant vaccine schedules.
Group B streptococcus
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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.
Who Is At Most Risk For Meningococcal Disease
High-risk groups include anyone with a damaged spleen or whose spleen has been removed, those with persistent complement component deficiency , HIV infection, those traveling to countries where meningococcal disease is very common, microbiologists who routinely work with the bacteria and people who may have been exposed to meningococcal disease during an outbreak. People who live in certain settings such as college dormitories and military housing are also at greater risk of disease from some serotypes.
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Is There A Meningococcal Vaccine
The vaccine called “Menveo” is available against four of the most common strains of N. meningitidis in the United States and can be used in adults and children greater than two years old. The vaccine is between 85 to 100 percent effective in preventing meningococcal disease. A single-dose vaccination produces protective antibody levels in 10 to 14 days. The vaccine does not currently provide any protection against the B strain or serotype.
Based on the possibility of increased risk of this disease among segments of the college population, the American College Health Association recommends that students consider vaccination to reduce their risk for potentially fatal meningococcal disease. Recently, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided to support ACHA’s decision to educate students and parents about meningococcal disease and the availability of a safe and effective vaccine to help prevent it. ACHA and the CDC are collaborating on surveillance studies to further assess the risk of meningococcal disease in the college population. Their current recommendation reads:
“Vaccination should be provided or made easily available to those freshmen who wish to reduce their risk of disease. Other undergraduate students wishing to reduce their risk of meningococcal disease can also choose to be vaccinated.”
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.
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Persons With Inadequate Immunization Records
Children and adults lacking adequate documentation of immunization should be considered unimmunized and started on an immunization schedule appropriate for their age and risk factors. Conjugate meningococcal vaccine, as appropriate for age, may be given regardless of possible previous receipt of the vaccine, as adverse events associated with repeated immunization have not been demonstrated. Refer to Immunization of persons with inadequate immunization records in Part 3 for additional general information.
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated Or Should Wait
- Anyone who has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of MCV4 or MPSV4 vaccine or diphtheria vaccine
- Anyone who has a severe allergy to any vaccine component
- Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover before receiving the vaccine
- For more information on additional warnings and precautions visit
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Problems That Could Happen After Getting Any Injected Vaccine
- People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting, and injuries caused by a fall. Tell the provider if you or your child feel dizzy, have vision changes, or have ringing in the ears.
- As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
What Are The Acceptable Forms Of Evidence
- A containing the required information with the signature or stamp of a physician or his/her designee, or public health personnel*. The form must be completed fully, including the month, day, and year the vaccination dose or booster was administered.
- An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority. Documentation must be in English and submitted with the .
- An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state
All documentation must include the month, date, and year that the vaccine or booster dose was administered.
*Please read the compliance form instructions carefully. All students must choose either option 1 or 2 and fully complete the document. The must have the health professional’s signature and credentials and be submitted with attachments to UH.
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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.
Two Types Of Meningitis Vaccine:
Two categories of meningitis vaccine are available at UHS, quadrivalent vaccine and meningitis B vaccine.
Quadrivalent vaccine is routinely recommended for our incoming first-year students, especially for those living in residence halls:
- Protects against four strains , which cause 2/3 of meningitis cases
- Brand names are Menactra, Menomune and Menveo
- Recommended for adolescents 11-18 years old and certain others first-year college students living in residence halls are at increased risk of disease
- For more information including side effects and contraindications, see CDC Vaccine Information Statement
Meningitis B vaccine expands protection against this serious but rare infection.
People ages 16 -23 years old are eligible to receive this vaccine, and ages 16 -18 years are the preferred ages for vaccination.
People 10 years or older who are at increased risk are recommended to receive the vaccine, including:
- People at risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak
- Anyone whose spleen is damaged or has been removed
- Anyone with a rare immune system condition called persistent complement component deficiency
- Anyone taking a drug called eculizumab
- Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitidis
- Protects against strain B, which causes 1/3 of meningitis cases
- Brand names are Bexsero and Trumenba, which are both offered at UHS.
- Is relatively expensive, so be sure to check whether it is covered by your health insurance.
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What Is Meningitis
The meninges are a membrane that covers and protects the brain and spinal cord. When that membrane gets inflamed, its called meningitis. One of the ways this inflammation can happen is from infection. Common symptoms of an infection of the meninges are fever, headache, and a stiff neck.
There are many different germs that can infect the meninges. Viruses cause most cases, and while this can be serious, most people with viral meningitis get better without treatment. Some may not even realize theyve had meningitis.
Are Free Or Low
Yes, if you dont have insurance or your insurance does not cover the cost of the meningococcal vaccines, you may be able to find free or low-cost meningococcal shots.
- Talk to your doctor or clinic to see if they participate in the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program. If the person in need of vaccination is 18 years old or younger, they may be eligible for no-cost vaccines. However, there may be an administration fee of up to $21.22 per shot.
- Talk to your city or county health department. They may be able to provide low-cost meningococcal shots.
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How Much Time Do I Have To Comply With The Vaccination Requirements
- Newly admitted students should obtain the required vaccination or booster and documentation upon submitting your application.*
- Returning students should obtain the required vaccination or booster and submit documentation before they will be able to register for the semester.
*Proof of vaccination is not required to be considered for admission.
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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How Can One Reduce The Risk Of Contracting Meningococcal Disease
Maximize your body’s own immune system response. A lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, adequate sleep, appropriate exercise, and the avoidance of excessive stress is very important. Avoiding upper respiratory tract infections and inhalation of cigarette smoke may help to protect from invasive disease. Everyone should be sensitive to public health measures that decrease exposure to oral secretions, such as covering one’s mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing hands after contact with oral secretions.
Vaccine For Bacterial Meningitis Could Be Delivered Via Nose Drops
Through a world-first trial, scientists in the UK have demonstrated the potential of a new vaccine to treat a life-threatening form of meningitis, and it can be delivered via nose drops. The researchers have developed a way of preventing meningococcal meningitis by borrowing a weapon used by the bacteria that causes it, resulting in long-lasting protection that might be replicated to address other infections that work via similar mechanisms.
As a condition that causes inflammation in the fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord, meningitis can take hold in the body through viral, fungal and parasitic infections, though those caused by bacteria are particularly dangerous. This is because bacterial meningitis has the capacity to enter the blood stream, resulting in serious complications and with the potential to become a life-threatening condition in hours if left untreated.
One of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis is Neisseria meningitidis, bacteria that causes an infection in the upper respiratory tract and can enter the bloodstream to cause meningococcal meningitis. The body has a defense against this in the form of the friendly bacteria Neisseria lactamica, which can be found in the nose of some infants and young people and naturally prevents N. meningitidis from taking hold.
The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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