Which Meningococcal Vaccines Are Available
In the U.S., three meningococcal vaccines are available:
- Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine , sold as Menomune
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine , sold as Menactra, MenHibrix, and Menveo.
- Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, sold asTrumenba and Bexsero.
MPSV4 and MCV4 can prevent four types of meningococcal disease, which make up about 70% of the cases in the U.S.
The MenB vaccines prevent the Meningococcal B strain.
MCV4 is preferred for people age 55 and younger. The recommendation for teens is one dose at age 11 and one dose at age 16. The doctor or nurse injects one dose into the muscle. If MCV4 is not available, you can use MPSV4. The doctor or nurse injects one dose beneath the skin.
MPSV4 is the only meningococcal vaccine approved for use in people over 55.
The MenB vaccines are recommended for ages 10-24, by the CDC for high risk patients, but can also be used in older adults. Trumenba is administered in three doses while Bexsero requires two doses.
What Are The Three Meningitis Vaccines
In the U. As well as meningococcal polysaccharide vaccines, there are other types available: Menomune is the only meningococcal vaccine available. There are three types of Meningococcal conjugate vaccine that are on offer, Menactra, MenHibrix, and Menveo. Trumenba or Bexsero are two variants of the serogroup b b vaccines.
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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How Can I Protect My Child
There are three kinds of meningococcal vaccine available in Canada. Each vaccine provides different protection:
- Meningococcal C vaccine is usually given to babies and young children. It protects against type C of the meningococcus germ, which used to be very common before this vaccine was available.
- MCV-4 protects against 4 types of the meningococcal germ . This vaccine is usually only given to people at higher risk of getting meningococcal disease . In some provinces it is given to all teenagers.
- Meningococcal B vaccine protects children against type B. This vaccine is not given routinely but is usually given to children at higher risk of getting meningococcal disease.
Your doctor will know which vaccine is best for your child, and at what age.
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.
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Trumenba Helps Protect Your Teen When They Need It Most56
In adolescents and young adults, the incidence of MenB peaks at age 19, so if your child is between 16 and 23, they may be at higher risk.5
TRUMENBA is the only vaccine tested against diverse MenB strains, including those found in meningitis outbreaks.1,4*
Why risk it? MenB is rare but has devastating consequences.3,7 Prep for a doctor’s appointment with a Doctor Discussion Guide found at the link below. Then, talk to your doctor about the importance of vaccinating your teen or young adult.
*TRUMENBA was tested against diverse MenB strains expressing factor H binding protein subfamilies A and B. Two-dose effectiveness against diverse strains has not been confirmed.1
Is There Any Treatment Available For Meningococcal Meningitis
Meningococcal Meningitis may cause death or other serious hazards when it is not detected at the early stage. A physician will recommend certain diagnostic tests to confirm the disorder. In most cases, a doctor suggests an IV while treating the condition. You also need some other medications to increase spinal fluid pressure. Sometimes, doctors recommend steroids for the problem that will help improve the problem. The treatment may vary depending on the symptoms that give ways to get better results.
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Whats The Outlook For People Who Get Meningitis B
Most people who develop this disease survive without long-lasting after effects. However, meningitis B is a potentially fatal disease.
Even with treatment, some people who develop meningitis B can die from it. The sooner treatment is administered, the better chance of a positive outcome.
Of those who survive meningococcal disease, around 19 percent will have permanent side effects or disabilities. These can include:
- amputation of limbs
Why Does My Baby Need To Get Immunised Against Menb
MenB infection is most common in babies and young children. This is because their immune systems arent yet fully developed to fight off infection. The highest number of cases are in babies around 5 months of age. This is why the first immunisations are offered to babies younger than this and have to be given at 2 and 4 months of age.
Teenagers and young adults are the next group most affected by MenB because the high level of social activity at these ages leads to an increase in the spread of bacteria.
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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.
How Long Do Meningococcal Vaccines Last
Like many vaccines, the protective effects of meningococcal vaccines lessen over time. Thats why booster doses are important for teens and other people at high risk for meningococcal disease.
Experts believe that within 5 years, the effects of MenACWY vaccines in teens begin to wear off. For the MenB vaccines, its suggested that protection goes down within 1 to 2 years after getting the vaccine series.
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Are Students In College At Risk For Meningococcal Disease
In the 1990s, college freshmen living in residence halls were identified as being at increased risk for meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease and outbreaks in young adults were primarily due to serogroup C. However, following many years of routine vaccination of young people with quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine , serogroup B is now the primary cause of meningococcal disease and outbreaks in young adults. Among the approximately 9 million students aged 18-21 years enrolled in college, there are an average of 20 cases and 2-4 outbreaks due to serogroup B reported annually.
Although incidence of serogroup B meningococcal disease in college students is low, college students aged 18-21 years are at increased risk compared to non-college students. The close contact in college residence halls, combined with certain behaviors , may put college students at increased risk.
Is there a vaccine against meningococcal disease?
Yes, there are 2 different meningococcal vaccines.
What Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is caused by infection with bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria can infect the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis, or they may infect the blood or other body organs. Onset of illness may be very sudden, and 10-15% die despite receiving antibiotic treatment. Of those who survive, 10-20% may lose limbs, become hearing impaired or deaf, have problems with their nervous system, including long-term neurologic problems, or have seizures or strokes.
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Who Should Have The Vaccine
In the UK the MenB vaccine is given to babies at 8 and 16 weeks, with a booster at 12-13 months. There are no plans for a catch-up programme for older children, because the main burden of the disease is in young babies, with a peak around 5 to 6 months of age.
The vaccine is also recommended for people with some long-term health conditions who are at greater risk of complications from meningococcal disease. This includes people with:
- asplenia or splenic dysfunction
- sickle cell anaemia
- coeliac disease
- complement disorders
In this short film, experts and a mother whose child was disabled by MenB infection talk about the vaccine.
What Is Meningitis B
While its not very common, if you get meningococcal B, it is a nasty disease, Litjen Tan, MD, chief strategy officer at the Immunization Action Coalition , tells Health. The IAC is a national nonprofit authority on vaccination policies that aims to increase immunization rates.
Meningitis B is more prevalent among 18 to 24-year-old college students than kids and adults in other age groups that’s because it’s easier for infections to spread among young adults living in cramped living quarters, such as dorms. Symptoms of the disease include sudden high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, nausea, and vomiting, as well as convulsions, rapid breathing, and confusion. A dark purple rash will usually appear on the arms, legs, or torso, too.
Part of what makes meningitis B so deadly is that many students and parents dont know about it, and many symptoms mimic those of more common illnesses, such as the flu. It wouldnt be unreasonable for a college student to assume they had the flu and then try to sleep off some of the symptoms. But if they actually have meningitis B and try that approach, theres a good chance the illness will overcome them and turn fatal.
Kimberly was perfectly healthy. Sitting in her classroom. Next day shes in the ICU fighting for her life, Wukovits recalls.
Stillman echos her heartbreak. People think so rare. But when its your child, 100% of that child just died. It doesnt matter what the statistics are, she says.
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Can Menb Disease Be Prevented
Yes. This vaccine helps protect babies against MenB and there are other vaccines, like MenC, that protect against some other types of meningococcal infections.
Immunising babies helps protect them when they’re most at risk of developing meningococcal disease.
Meningitis and septicaemia are very serious diseases that need urgent medical treatment. Some of the symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of flu, so, if youre in any doubt about your babys health, trust your instincts and get advice urgently by phoning your GP, or the 111 service if your GP is closed.
Schedule For Children Who Are More Likely To Get Meningitis
Younger kids will need a vaccine if they’re at a greater risk of getting meningitis because they:
- Have complement component deficiency, a rare immune system disease
- Have spleen damage or had their spleen removed
- Live in an area that had a meningitis outbreak
- Take drugs that affect their immune system
- Travel to a country where meningitis is common
For these cases, doctors strongly recommend MenACWY for kids ages 2 months to 10 years. The number of doses and boosters your child needs depends on their health, age, and how long they stay at risk for the disease. For example, a child with spleen damage will be at risk longer than someone who travels for a week to a country where meningitis is common. Check with your doctor to find out what your child needs.
Doctors also recommend that kids ages 10 and older with these risks get the standard doses of MenB.
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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.
Getting Your Meningococcal Vaccine
If you think you may need a meningococcal vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider. They will help you figure out if the meningococcal vaccine is right for you.
Your primary care providers office usually carries meningococcal vaccines and many retail pharmacies may carry them as well. Its a good idea to call ahead to make sure its in stock.
Its also a good idea to check your insurance coverage to see if the vaccine will be covered better at a providers office or at a pharmacy. Other places to get meningococcal vaccines can include community health clinics and public health departments.
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Two Different Vaccines Are Needed To Fully Vaccinate Your Teen Or Young Adult Against Meningitis
There are 5 primary types of bacteria that cause meningitis and for which vaccines are available in the US: A, C, W, Y, and B.8
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for types A, C, W, and Y at ages 11 to 12 , and a booster at age 16. The CDC recommends deciding with your doctor about vaccinating your child against MenB. The CDC-recommended age for MenB vaccination is 16 to 23 years .9,10
You can help protect your teen by vaccinating with TRUMENBA, which is FDA approved for MenB.1
Routine visits with your child’s doctor are a good opportunity to discuss the risks and potential serious side effects of MenB.7 Make sure you know whether your teen has received both types of meningitis vaccines, and whether they are protected against MenB.
When’s My Baby Going To Be Immunised
Your baby will be offered the MenB vaccine at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and a booster dose at 12 to 13 months. Your local NHS Health Board will contact you to let you know about their arrangements for your baby’s routine childhood immunisations.
Most practices and health centres run special immunisation baby clinics. If you cant get to the clinic, contact the practice or health centre to make another appointment.
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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.
Why The Cdc Recommends Meningococcal Vaccination
Neisseria meningitidis can linger within the nasal cavity without causing disease in some people. Older estimates provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that about 10% of the general population carries the bacteria.
Generally, this bacteria can spread quickly when people are in close contact with one another. Thats especially true in group living situations, or among people who are intimate .
If someone is unprotected from the disease, it can go on to cause extremely severe illness or even death. About 10% to 15% of people with bacterial meningitis die. One in 5 may have permanent disabilities afterward, like hearing issues, brain and kidney damage, or limb amputation.
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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.
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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