What Are Neisseria Meningitidis
Neisseria meningitidis are bacteria that may be found normally in peoples throats and noses. About 5 to 15% of people carry these bacteria and do not get sick from them. These people may be referred to as colonized. Colonized people only have bacteria for a short time. Usually, the bacteria go away and these people may have increased resistance to infection in the future. In rare cases, the bacteria may get into the blood and go to the tissue surrounding the spinal cord and brain, causing severe illness. It is not known why this occurs in certain people and not in others. A recent upper respiratory illness may be a contributing factor.
What Happens When Someone Gets Meningococcal Disease
- Meningococcal disease most often causes meningitis and blood infections. It may start like a bad cold or the flu causing fever, headache, body aches, and a stiff neck, but it can progress very quickly and kill an otherwise healthy person in less than 48 hours.
- Additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, confusion, sensitivity to light, and a dark purple rash on the arms, legs, and body.
- The bacteria can spread through your body very quickly, affecting arms, legs, fingers, toes, and organs.
You Got Meningitis Vaccination As A Child
You might have had a meningococcal group C vaccination as a child, however, due to an increase in type W across the UK you are now recommended to have the MenACWY vaccine.
This will boost your protection against Men C and also protect you against the types A, W and Y. It wont protect you against all the types of meningococcal disease which is why it is also important to know the signs and symptoms.
You May Like: Does Cvs Give Tetanus Shots
How Does Meningitis Spread
Each form of meningitis spreads differently. Viral and bacterial will spread person-to-person through air droplets, kissing or nasal secretions. Fungal and parasitic are ususally cause by environmental factors.
Viral and bacterial are the most common variants. They are most often spread within communities that live or work together. Dorm living, close contact and shared facilities are some common risk areas.
Some regions of the world are at an increased risk for meningitis. These include the meningitis belt in Africa and Saudi Arabia during the Hajj.
Where To Get It
A person may get the vaccine from local health centers, pharmacies, community health clinics, private clinics, health departments, and community locations, such as schools and religious centers.
Under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Marketplace plans and most private insurance plans cover the meningococcal vaccine, as well as several other vaccines.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does The Shingles Vaccine Cost At Cvs
Menacwy Vaccine Side Effects
Like all vaccines, the MenACWY vaccine can cause side effects, but they are generally mild and soon pass.
The most common side effects seen in teenagers and young people are redness, hardening and itching at the injection site, a high temperature , headache, feeling sick and tiredness . These symptoms should last no longer than 24 hours.
Sometimes a small, painless lump develops, but this usually disappears after a few weeks.
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.
Recommended Reading: Cost Of Tdap At Cvs
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.
Reasons Not To Get The Meningitis Vaccine
Thanks to the meningitis vaccine, cases of the disease are down substantially. But because cases are so low, some people may not think its necessary to get the jab. However, these vaccines are a lifesaver. Although its rare, getting bacterial meningitis is all too often deadly. It strikes within a few hours or a day, and most often patients dont even realize whats happening until its too late. While the disease can kill one in seven people who contract it, the vaccine is extremely safe and severe complications are exceedingly rare. And by doing your part, you can help protect your community at large from a deadly outbreak.
You May Like: Cvs Tdap
Meningococcal B Vaccine Bexsero
Bexsero is broadly protective against meningococcal group B disease. Bexsero can be used to protect babies, children, adolescents and adults. Infants younger than twelve months of age need three doses to be fully protected. Older children, adolescents, and adults need two doses to be protected.
From 1 July 2021, Bexsero vaccine will be provided free of charge to close contacts of meningococcal cases of any meningococcal group , or people who are at higher risk of contracting meningococcal B disease because they:
are pre- or post-splenectomy
are pre- or post-solid organ transplant
are post-bone marrow transplant
are pre- or post-immunosuppression that will be/is longer than 28 days.
For others wishing to be protected against meningococcal B disease, Bexsero is available through your family doctor. The cost is approximately $150 per dose.
Bexsero is different to the MeNZB vaccine used in New Zealand between 2004 and 2011. The MeNZB vaccine was designed to target a specific type of meningococcal group B bacterium that only caused disease here in New Zealand. MeNZB was not meant for long term use. The vaccine was withdrawn once the rate of disease was significantly reduced. However, the active component of the MeNZB vaccine has contributed to the successful development of Bexsero.
Students Should Get Vaccinated For All Forms Of Meningitis
This is a stressful time for students worrying if they will be able to make the grade, pass a class or figure out what comes next for them after graduation. However, there is something more serious happening around universities across the state that students and parents need to be concerned about.
The number of meningitis cases identified so far this year surpasses the five-year average of meningococcal disease cases in Florida, with the disease populating mostly around college students. It is of the utmost importance that we make protect our kids by vaccinating them for all types of meningococcal disease.
My daughter, Emily, passed from bacterial meningitis during her sophomore year. She called me one evening complaining about a minor headache. I suggested that she take Motrin and asked her to let me know how she felt in the morning.
That next morning, I received a phone call from a hospital informing me that Emily had been admitted during the night and, in a few impossibly short hours, had slipped into a coma. She had contracted meningococcal disease and was being rushed into surgery. It wasnt long after that that she passed.
Meningococcal disease is one of the most common types of bacterial meningitis. It is a life-threatening bacterial infection that can affect the lining of the brain and spinal cord, or it can cause an infection in the bloodstream or both.
My daughter was just 19 when on Feb. 2, 2013, she lost her life to meningitis B.
Also Check: Cvs Tdap 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.
Am I At Risk Of Meningitis
Some elements of teen and student life increase risk of transmission. Meningitis isn’t actually that easy to catch but activities that put you at risk include kissing, coughing or sneezing on someone in close proximity – such as at a gig, festival or club – drinking from the same bottle or glass, or sharing cigarettes.
If you’re at university, you’re also mixing, maybe even living, with people from all over the country and the world, exposing your immune system to bugs it hasn’t met before – this increases your risk of succumbing to them. This is why doctors particularly want teens and young adults protected against the risk of meningitis.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does A Tdap Shot Cost At Cvs
Why The Meningitis B Vaccine Is Used
There are many reasons that the meningitis B vaccine was developed and why you would want to protect yourself and those you love against it.
Meningitis B is a serious disease that progresses quickly and can lead to death. The mortality rate from meningitis B in the United States is about 10 to 15 percent when treated and up to 50 percent when untreated. Its also possible to develop long-term conditions such as hearing loss or even brain damage after recovering from meningitis B.
The MenB bacterial infection is passed between people through saliva and respiratory fluids. Activities like sharing drinks, kissing, or coughing can spread the bacterium. The meningitis B vaccine can help reduce transmission between people and prevent or manage outbreaks.
Unlike many diseases, meningitis B is most common in young people. Infants and young children are at the highest risk. Adolescents and young adults are at the next highest risk of infection.
Between 2013 and 2018, meningococcal disease outbreaks occurred at 10 universities and led to two deaths. All 10 universities implemented MenB vaccination to prevent further spread.
Who Should Receive A Meningitis Vaccine
Meningitis vaccination is recommended for individuals over 11-years-old. This includes both the A, C, W and Y immunization and the B vaccination.
Travellers or others who could be exposed to meningitis should also be vaccinated this includes:
- Travellers to the meningitis belt in Africa
- Travellers going to Hajj in Saudi Arabia
- Individuals who work in confined conditions
- Healthcare workers
- College or other students
If you have not been vaccinated, or are unsure of your vaccination history, Passport Health can help. We keep meningitis vaccinations in-stock and ready for your trip or need. Call to schedule your appointment or book online now.
You May Like: Cvs Pharmacy Tdap
British Columbia Specific Information
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord. It is a type of meningococcal infection that is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. In British Columbia, there are 2 vaccines that can help protect against meningitis: the Meningococcal C Conjugate vaccine and the Meningococcal Quadrivalent vaccine.
The Meningococcal C Conjugate vaccine is provided free. It is recommended for children at 2 and 12 months of age. For more information, see HealthLinkBC File #23a Meningococcal C Conjugate Vaccine and the B.C. Immunization Schedules.
As of September 2016, the Meningococcal Quadrivalent Vaccine will be offered to all students in grade 9 as part of the routine immunization program in B.C. This will replace the current booster dose provided in grade 6. For more information, see HealthLinkBC File #23b Meningococcal Quadrivalent Vaccines. To learn more about both vaccines, visit ImmunizeBC.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can I Get Tdap At Cvs
You Could Help Protect Others
Having the vaccination doesn’t just protect you. Because teens and young adults are the biggest carriers of meningococcal bacteria, they are also the ones most likely to spread it. “What we have found, therefore, is that vaccinating teens against a strain of meningitis bacteria causes rates of infection for that strain to drop in everyone,” says Wright. “When the government started vaccinating teens against meningitis C in 1999, rates fell across the whole population.”
However, in 2016 only 33% of eligible people had the ACWY jab so this ‘herd protection’ is not as good as it could be.
Why Your Child Needs The Meningitis Vaccine
The meningitis vaccine prevents meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection which causes meningitis in half of all cases and pneumonia in 15 percent. Still, many of those who contract the bacteria remain asymptomatic.
Symptoms are marked by a stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and confusion. All too often its deadly, with a 10-15 percent fatality rate even with appropriate antibiotic treatments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Survivors are often left with serious injuries 20 percent suffering hearing loss, neurological damage, or loss of a limb.
Recommended Reading: Tdap Vaccine Cvs
Where Does Meningitis Occur
Some regions are more likely to have meningitis due to environmental or other factors. These higher risk zones include:
- The Meningitis Belt This region of sub-Saharan Africa has more meningitis cases than most of the world. Three countries, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Niger, account for 65 percent of meningitis cases in Africa. In some communities in the belt, one percent of the population will contract meningitis during an outbreak. The countries in the belt are : Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea.
- Sub-Saharan Africa The rest of the region does have occasional outbreaks. Regions of note are Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Hajj PilgrimageSaudi Arabia has seen some outbreaks during the pilgrimage. Proof of vaccination is required for entry into the country during this time.
In Canada, dorms, schools or other areas with long-term close contact are sites of infection. Many educational centers now require proof of meningitis vaccination for enrolling.
Meningitis vaccinations are available at all Passport Health clinics. Call or make your appointment online now to schedule your appointment today.
What Is The Meningitis Vaccine
Do you need a meningitis vaccine?
Schedule an appointment with your local Passport Health Travel Medicine Specialist
There are two types of meningitis vaccinations available in Canada. One protects against A, C, W and Y strains, the other against B strains.
Meningitis B vaccination is recommended for youth age 16 to 23. It provides short term protection against infection. It is also recommended as a routine vaccination for some individuals over the age of 10 if: there has been an outbreak of meningitis B, they have a damaged or removed spleen, certain immune conditions among other similar indications.
Immunization against meningitis A, C, W and Y is recommended or required for most preteens.
Both of these vaccinations are relatively new. Many individuals over the age of 30 may not have been vaccinated.
You May Like: Cvs Whooping Cough Vaccine
How And When Should You Receive The Meningococcal Vaccine
In most cases, adults only need one dose. But if you remain at risk, you may need a booster.
Some adults may need another type of meningitis vaccine, the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, if they are exposed to this virus through work or travel or if they have a damaged or missing spleen, or certain immune system disorders.
When Do I Need To Get The Meningitis Vaccine And How Often
âIt is routine for children who go to the pediatrician at age 11 or 12 to receive this vaccine. When children get older and leave home, almost every college requires or strongly recommends that students be vaccinated before they come to campus.â
âAt the moment, this is a one-dose immunization, but the CDC is now discussing whether children who receive the vaccine at 11 or 12 years old need a booster shot just before college. I recommend students and parents stay tuned for more info, which could be coming as soon as mid-2011.â
Don’t Miss: Does Cvs Pharmacy Give Tdap Vaccine
Do I Really Need To Worry
On average there are around 3,200 cases of bacterial meningitis a year after babies, 16-25 year olds are the age group most affected.Experts are currently worried about an increase in cases associated with a particularly aggressive MenW strain, called ST-11 – in 2009/10 there were only 22 cases in England, but this went up to 210 cases in 2015/16. Scarily, one in seven teenagers infected with MenW don’t survive.