How Do You Get Immunised Against Meningococcal Disease
You can get meningococcal vaccines on their own or as a combination vaccine. Different vaccines protect against different types of meningococcal disease. They are all given as a needle.
Meningococcal vaccines include:
Your doctor can tell you which vaccine they will use for your meningococcal immunisation.
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.
Your Child Can Get Menacwy And Menb Vaccines At The Same Time
Your childs doctor can give both types of meningococcal vaccines during the same visit, but preferably in different arms. If you choose for your child to get a MenB vaccine, the preferred timing is between 16 and 18 years old. So its possible your child will get this vaccine and the MenACWY booster dose at the same visit.
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Risk By Age Group And By Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Status
Children aged < 2 years
Children aged < 2 years have the highest incidence of meningococcal cases. The disease occurs most often in infants aged 35 months.
Adolescents aged 1519 years
A high number of meningococcal disease cases occurs among adolescents and young adults aged 1524 years, with peak rates of disease occurring in 1820-year-olds. Adolescents and young adults have the highest rate of meningococcal carriage and are thought to play an important role in transmitting the bacteria in a community.4
Adolescents and young adults in this age bracket who have a higher risk of acquiring the meningococcal bacteria are:
- people who live in close quarters, such as new military recruits and students living in residential accommodation
- people who have prolonged contact with a person who is carrying meningococcal bacteria5-7
- people who are smokers8-10
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have much higher incidence rates of meningococcal disease than non-Indigenous Australians.96 This is particularly among children aged < 15 years for the 2 most common meningococcal serogroups: B and W.
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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Training For Healthcare Professionals
Added link to the Meningococcal B vaccination for infants aged from 8 weeks training slideset.
Added information on immunisation patient group direction templates.
Addition of link to MenB vaccine coverage estimates
Additional information added regarding MenB and Paracetamol
Added training guide for healthcare professionals.
Added 2 guides for parents on meningitis and septicaemia caused by meningococcal group B disease.
Is The Meningitis B Vaccine Safe
In the same 2021 study mentioned above, researchers found the vaccine demonstrated an acceptable level of safety. No safety concerns have been raised based on current data, which includes more than 3 million doses administered in the United Kingdom.
Data from Quebec revealed four cases of a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome in children age 2 to 5 within 13 months of receiving their vaccine. Researchers are still trying to understand if theres a link, but a lack of similar findings from other countries suggests these cases may have occurred by chance.
Side effects of meningitis B are usually mild and last for
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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.
Cdc Does Not Routinely Recommend A Menb Vaccine For All Teens And Young Adults However All Teens May Get Vaccinated Preferably At 16 To 18 Years Old
Serogroup B meningococcal disease is relatively rare. Outbreaks have occurred at several U.S. colleges during the past decade. CDCs current recommendation gives people access to MenB vaccines to help prevent this uncommon, but serious illness. However, doctors and parents should discuss the risk of the disease and weigh the risks and benefits of vaccination. Available data suggest these vaccines are safe and provide protection, but that protection decreases fairly quickly after vaccination.
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Your Record Of Protection
After any immunization, make sure your childs immunization record is updated. If your child is attending child care or school, inform your local public health unit each time your child receives an immunization. An immunization record is required for child care and school attendance and for certain types of travel and work, so keep it in a safe place.
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.
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Childhood Program Administration Principles And Recommendations
- Bexsero can be safely administered with other NIP vaccines.
- If two injections are administered in the same injection site, ensure they are separated by 2.5cm.
- All scheduled vaccines should be administered in one visit, if possible.
- If all vaccines cannot be administered at one visit, prioritise the administration of vaccines contained on the NIP.
- If all scheduled NIP vaccines cannot be given in one visit, prioritise the antigens not previously given, for example, MMR at the 12 month schedule point.
- Prophylactic use of paracetamol is recommended with every dose of Bexsero for those less than 2 years of age.
- Parents should be able to confidently manage fever post vaccination with the information provided and may require education on how to administer paracetamol.
Always check the Australian Immunisation Register to check if any doses of a meningococcal B vaccine have already been administered.
Vaccines must only be reconstituted with the diluent supplied. Never mix separate vaccines together.
Why Are Meningococcal Vaccines Recommended
Meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria. It can lead to an infection of the bloodstream or meningitis, or both, and can be life-threatening if not quickly treated. The MenACWY vaccine is very effective at protecting against four strains of the bacteria, while the MenB vaccine protects against a fifth strain.
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Menacwy Vaccines Are Safe However As With Any Vaccine Side Effects Can Occur
About half of the people who get a MenACWY vaccine have mild problems following vaccination, such as:
- Redness where the shot was given
- Soreness where the shot was given
- Muscle pain
- Feeling tired
If they occur, these reactions usually get better on their own within 1 to 2 days. Serious reactions are possible, but rare.
CDC continually monitors the safety of all vaccines, including MenACWY vaccines. For more information, view the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine Information Statement.
Side Effects Of The Menb Vaccine
Babies given the MenB vaccine alongside their other routine vaccinations at 8 and 16 weeks are likely to develop a high temperature within 24 hours of vaccination.
It’s important to give your baby liquid paracetamol following vaccination to reduce this risk. Your nurse will advise you about using children’s paracetamol at your vaccination appointment.
Other common side effects of the MenB vaccine include:
- pain, swelling or redness where the injection was given
- diarrhoea or being sick
- crying and irritability
The liquid paracetamol will also help with these symptoms.
An allergic reaction is a rare side effect of the MenB vaccine. This may be a rash or itching that affects part or all of the body.
Very rarely, a baby may have a severe allergic reaction after having the MenB vaccine.
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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.
Talk To Your Healthcare Provider About Vaccination Against Menb* With Bexsero
BEXSERO multicomponent meningococcal B vaccine is a vaccine for the prevention of meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B bacteria in individuals from 2 months through 25 years of age. BEXSERO is not expected to protect against all circulating meningococcal serogroup B strains and does not offer protection against strains A, C, Y, and W-135. As with any vaccine, BEXSERO may not fully protect all of those who are vaccinated. BEXSERO does not treat or reduce the consequences of meningococcal disease, including meningitis, sepsis, and death. The very common side effects after vaccination with BEXSERO were pain/tenderness at the injection site, redness at the injection site, swelling of the skin at the injection site, and hardness of the skin at the injection site. In infants and children , fever can occur more frequently when BEXSERO is given at the same time as routine infant vaccines. Allergic reactions may also occur. Ask your healthcare professional if BEXSERO is right for your child. Full product information can be found at . To report an adverse event, please call 1-800-387-7374.
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Most Health Insurance Plans Cover The Cost For Menb Vaccination
Most health plans must cover CDC-recommended vaccines with no out-of-pocket costs if an in-network healthcare provider administers the vaccine. Adolescents or their parents should check with their insurance provider for details on whether there is any cost to them for this vaccine.
The Vaccines for Children, or VFC, program provides vaccines for children 18 and younger who are
- Not insured
- American Indian or Alaska Native
Parents can find a VFC provider by contacting their local health department. VFC will cover the cost of MenB vaccination for those
- 16 through 18 years of age
- 10 through 18 years of age identified as being at increased risk due to a medical condition
- 10 through 18 years of age identified as being at increased risk due to a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak
What Happens After The Immunization
Your child might have a fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness at the injection area. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever and to find out the right dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help reduce soreness, as can moving or using the arm.
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How Effective Is It
A 2021 study examined Bexsero using data from Quebec, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and South Australia to determine its safety and effectiveness.
The researchers found that meningitis B rates decreased by 50 to 100 percent in vaccine-eligible populations. The vaccines were found to be 79 to 100 percent effective in people who received two or more doses.
Clinical trials have found promising results for Trumenba as well. is needed to understand its true effectiveness, but researchers believe that it can also provide a high level of protection.
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.
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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.
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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Meningococcal Disease In Australia
Meningococcal disease can occur sporadically or in epidemics. In Australia, most cases occur during winter and early spring. Other countries with temperate climates also have this seasonal trend.95
The meningococcal serogroups that cause meningococcal disease have been changing. A meningococcal C vaccine was introduced on the National Immunisation Program in 2003 and has resulted in a large reduction in meningococcal C disease incidence.95,96
Meningococcal B has historically caused most meningococcal disease in Australia.96 Meningococcal B continues to cause around half of all reported cases of meningococcal disease in Australia.98
Meningococcal B is most common in South Australia, where a state-funded MenB vaccination program was introduced from 2018. Refer to the South Australian Health Department website for further details.
Because of substantial declines in invasive meningococcal disease caused by serogroups B and C, overall IMD incidence in Australia declined between 2003 and 2013.96
Since 2013, the incidence of meningococcal W disease has rapidly increased.98,99 Incidence of meningococcal Y disease has also been steadily increasing since 2016.98 Several states and territories implemented vaccination programs with MenACWY vaccine in 2017 to manage this disease. In 2018, MenACWY vaccine was introduced on the National Immunisation Program for toddlers aged 12 months. Adolescents are able to receive MenACWY vaccine on the National Immunisation Program from 2019.