How Effective Is Meningococcal Vaccine
Having the meningococcal vaccine does not give you lifelong protection against meningococcal disease. When you get the vaccine, it causes your body’s defence system to produce antibodies to fight against the infection if you come into contact with someone who has the illness. But, over time, the antibody levels decrease. In older children, adolescents and adults, protection is expected to last for around 5 years after vaccination.The number and quality of antibodies and how long they last depend on what type of vaccine is used, the meningococcal group covered by the vaccine and the age of the person receiving the vaccine.
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.
Are Students Required To Get Meningococcal Vaccine Before College
Yes. Massachusetts law requires the following students receive quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine :
- Secondary School : newly enrolled full-time students who will be living in a dormitory or other congregate housing licensed or approved by the secondary school must provide documentation of having received a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine at any time in the past.
- Postsecondary Institutions : newly enrolled full-time students 21 years of age and younger must provide documentation of having received a dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine on or after their 16th birthday, regardless of housing status.
Immunizations should be obtained prior to enrollment or registration however, students may be enrolled or registered provided that the required immunizations are obtained within 30 days of registration. There is no requirement for meningococcal B vaccination. However, adolescents and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age, to provide short term protection for most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease.
More information about requirements and exemptions may be found in the MDPH document Information about Meningococcal Disease, Meningococcal Vaccines, Vaccination Requirements and the Waiver for Students at Colleges and Residential Schools.
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What Is Meningococcal Infection
Meningococcal infection is caused by bacteria. Meningococcal infection due to types A, C, Y and W-135 is very rare in B.C. Since 2009 there have been less than 10 cases per year. Although rare, it can cause serious and life-threatening infections including meningitis, an infection of the lining that covers the brain, and septicemia, an infection of the blood. For every 100 people who get sick, up to 15 will die, even if they receive treatment. Permanent complications of infection include brain damage, deafness, and loss of limbs.
Meningococcal infection is spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or close face-to-face contact. It can also be spread through saliva. This can occur through activities such as kissing or sharing of food, drinks, cigarettes, lipsticks, water bottles, mouth guards used for sports, or mouthpieces of musical instruments.
Who Should Get The Meningococcal Vaccines
All children ages 11 through 12 years should receive meningococcal vaccine followed by a booster dose at age 16 years. Vaccination is also recommended for all adolescents ages 13 through 18 years who did not receive a dose at age 11-12 years.
Individuals ages 2 months and older who have certain conditions that weaken their immune system should receive meningococcal vaccine, including teens who are HIV positive. These persons should also receive booster shots every three to five years depending on their age. Talk to your health care provider if your preteen or teen has a condition that makes it harder for their body to fight off infection.
The MenB vaccine may also be given at age 16 years along with the MenACWY booster dose. MenB vaccine is also recommended for children age 10 years and older with certain high-risk conditions. The number of doses needed depends on the product used and if your child has a high-risk condition. Talk to your health care provider about this additional vaccine.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Meningococcal Disease
Signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease include sudden onset of fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and/or mental confusion. A rash may also be present. Changes in behavior such as confusion, sleepiness, and unresponsiveness are important symptoms of illness. Anyone who has these symptoms should be seen by a healthcare provider immediately. In fatal cases, death can occur in as little as a few hours, even with appropriate medical treatment. Less common presentations include pneumonia and arthritis.
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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.
Who Should Get Which Meningococcal Vaccine And When
Although MCV4 is the preferred vaccine for most people, if it is not available when it’s time for the vaccination, MPSV4 can be used.
Routine immunization with the meningococcal vaccine MCV4 is recommended for children ages 11 or 12, with a booster to be given between ages 16 and 18. Vaccinations are also recommended for the following groups:
- College freshmen living in a dorm
- Military recruits
- Someone who has a damaged spleen
- Someone whose spleen has been removed
- Someone with terminal complement component deficiency
- Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria
- Someone traveling to or residing in a country where the disease is common
- Someone who has been exposed to meningitis
Preteens who are 11 and 12 usually have the shot at their 11- or 12-year-old checkup. An appointment should be made to get the shot for teenagers who did not have it when they were 11 or 12.
The vaccine may be given to pregnant women. However, since MCV4 and MenB are newer vaccines, there is limited data about their effect on pregnant women. They should only be used if clearly needed.
Anyone who is allergic to any component used in the vaccine should not get the vaccine. It’s important to tell your doctor about all your allergies.
People with mild illness such as a cold or congestion can usually get the vaccine. But people who are moderately or severely ill at the time of vaccine administration should wait until they recover.
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Is It Possible To Get The Vaccine And Still Get Meningitis
Because the vaccines do not protect against all causes of meningitis, it is still possible that someone could receive the vaccine and still get meningitis from a different strain not protected by the vaccine. But the risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis is significantly lower after the vaccine.
There are other causes of meningitis that are preventable. Vaccines like the Hib vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine are also very effective at protecting against other causes of meningitis and should be included as part of a routine childhood vaccination schedule. Check with your doctor and your children’s doctor to make sure that you and your family are protected against meningitis, as well as other serious illnesses.
Meningitis Can Kill Within 24 Hours The Vaccine On The Other Hand Is Extremely Safe
Bacterial meningitis is a killer. It comes out of nowhere, and before you even realize youre infected, its already done serious damage, disabling and even killing its victims. The fatality rate can be up to 12 percent, and 20 percent of those who survive are left with permanent injuries such as brain damage, hearing loss, or loss of a limb. In the mid-1990s, cases surged to 1.2 cases per 100,000 people. Babies faced the most danger, but teens and young adults were also at high risk, often falling victim to the disease in their college dorm rooms, where students lived in group settings in close proximity. Thankfully, the disease landscape has changed dramatically since the introduction of the meningitis vaccinein 2005. As of 2019, cases were barely 10 percent of what they had once been two decades ago.
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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.
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.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Meningococcal Vaccines
Mild side effects happen in about half those who get the vaccine. They may include redness or pain where the skin was injected. These side effects last no longer than 1 or 2 days.
Serious side effects are rare and can include high fever, weakness, and changes in behavior.
Severe allergic reactions may happen within minutes or hours of having the vaccination. These are signs of an allergic reaction:
What Might My Child Experience After Immunization
The side effects your child may have after immunization depend on which vaccine they received. To find this information, click on the vaccine name in the Routine Immunization Schedule or from the list of Vaccine Information Sheets.
It is rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
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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.
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.
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Vaccines That May Prevent Viral Meningitis
Currently, theres no vaccine available to protect against viral forms of meningitis. But other routine vaccines are thought to offer some protection because they may prevent diseases that could lead to viral meningitis.
These include vaccines for:
CDC , there arent any known serious reactions to these core meningitis vaccines.
Some people may feel lightheaded after receiving a vaccine. This is believed to be a stress response to the vaccination process, not the shot itself.
If you have a history of feeling faint or passing out from shots, or getting bloodwork done, let your healthcare professional know ahead of time. They may take steps to decrease the risk of this effect, like having a loved one present during the appointment and having you lie down for several minutes after getting your shot.
Meningitis shots are recommended for pre-teens and teens. But adults of all ages may also benefit from vaccination if they didnt get these shots earlier in life.
Hib vaccines are given to newborns in several doses.
The first MenACWY shot is typically given at . A second vaccine may be administered around 16 years of age. You may also require proof of this type of vaccination before entering college.
The CDC recommends talking with your doctor about getting a MenB shot between ages 16 and 18 , especially if you plan on going to college or joining the military. Youll also need boosters of the same brand to complete your vaccination.
You Are Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
- Pregnant women who are at increased risk for serogroup A, C, W, or Y meningococcal disease may get MenACWY vaccines.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women who are at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease may get MenB vaccines. However, they should talk with a doctor to decide if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risks.
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Are Both Meningococcal Vaccines Equally Effective
The MCV4, MPSV4 and MenB vaccines are about 85-90% effective in preventing meningococcal disease. There are actually several types of N meningitidis — the bacterium that causes meningococcal disease, five of which are common in the U.S. These vaccines together protect against all five of these strains.
MCV4 has not been available long enough to compare the long-term effectiveness of the two vaccines. But most experts think that MCV4 provides better, longer-lasting protection.
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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Meningococcal Acw & Y Vaccine Menactra Or Nimenrix
Menactra is a meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y. Menactra is approved for use for those aged 9 months to 55 years.
From 1 December 2019, people aged 13-25 years living in boarding school hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks, or prisons, can receive a single dose of meningococcal ACWY vaccine free of charge. The catch-up programme is only available until 30 November 2021. For more details see Section 13.5 of the Immunisation Handbook 2020.
The vaccine is funded for children and adults with a medical condition that increases their risk of invasive meningococcal disease AND is listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Menactra is also available as a purchased vaccine through your family doctor. The cost is approximately $150 per dose. For children aged 9 – 23 months, two doses are given at least three months apart. For individuals aged 2 – 55 years, one dose is given.
Measles Mumps And Rubella Vaccine
The MMR vaccine offers protection against measles, mumps and rubella infections. Meningitis can sometimes occur as a complication of mumps. Measles and rubella can cause encephalitis . In New Zealand, the MMR vaccine is free as part of the childhood immunisation schedule, for children at 15 months and 4 years of age. Read more about MMR vaccine.
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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.