People With Medical Conditions That Increase Their Risk Of Invasive Meningococcal Disease
People with medical conditions specified in List. Specified medical conditions associated with increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease are strongly recommended to receive MenACWY and MenB vaccines.
- a full primary course of MenACWY vaccine, with ongoing booster doses
- a full primary course of MenB vaccine
People with these specific medical conditions have a higher risk of invasive meningococcal disease. They are recommended to receive extra doses compared with people who do not have these conditions.
The number of doses needed depends on the vaccine brand used and the persons age when they start the vaccine course.
For people aged 2 years receiving MenACWY vaccine, it is preferable to receive either Menveo or Nimenrix, rather than Menactra. If Menveo and Nimenrix are unavailable, Menactra can be given.
There is no preference for either Bexsero or Trumenba for people aged 10 years. For people aged < 10 years, Bexsero is the only registered MenB vaccine available in Australia.
Bexsero and Trumenba are not interchangeable. The same vaccine should be used for both vaccine doses.
Regular booster doses are required for MenACWY vaccines, but not for MenB vaccines.
For more details see:
People who have previously received a meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine
For Conscience Or Religious Belief
For your child to be exempted due to conscience or religious belief, you must contact your local public health unit:
- Let your local public health unit know you wish to have your child exempted from the required vaccines.
- The PHU will:
- advise you on the steps to take in completing a valid exemption, including watching the vaccine education video.
Once its complete, you must get it signed by a commissioner for taking affidavits in Ontario.
Make copies of your:
- signed Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief form
You will need to submit the original versions.
It is important that you keep your copies because the ministry and local public health units do not keep records of your exemption documents.
Submit the original copies of your Vaccine Education Certificate and signed Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief form to your local public health unit. Contact them to find out how.
Meningococcal B Vaccine For Children Less Than Two Years Of Age
Fever is common in children aged two or under two years of age when meningococcal B vaccine is given.
It is recommended to use paracetamol 30 minutes before every dose of meningococcal B vaccine given to children under two years of age or as soon as practicable. Follow this with two more doses of paracetamol given 6 hours apart, even if the children do not have a fever.
This is to:
- reduce the chance of fever occurring
- reduce the severity of fever that does occur.
Be sure to give the paracetamol dose that is written on the bottle according to your child’s weight.
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There Are Three Types Of Meningococcal Vaccines:
- The meningococcal C vaccine that protects against infection from one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type C.
- The meningococcal quadrivalent vaccine that protects against 4 types of meningococcal bacteria: types A, C, Y and W-135.
- The meningococcal B vaccine that protects against infection by one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type B.
The type of vaccine recommended depends on a person’s age and risk factors.
Doctors Support The Change
Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious disease physician and a professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, tells Verywell that there was never any compelling evidence for the previous recommendation, adding, I am glad it has been changed.
Watkins says that the move may help more children get vaccinated, noting the convenience factor. Under the updated guidance, families only have to make one trip to get vaccinated instead of several under the previous recommendations, he says.
John Schreiber, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, tells Verywell that the changed guidance seems like a reasonable thing to do.
Schreiber anticipates that some parents may still be wary to give their children other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, but say that new recommendations are sound.
I dont have any concerns with this, Schreiber says. But, he adds, the CDC and AAP will monitor children to see what happens next. If it turns out that children are complaining about more side effects after getting vaccinated, Im sure the recommendations can be modified.”
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
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Why You Should Vaccinate
Infectious diseases can spread among children and adolescents at school who are not vaccinated. As a parent, you can keep your kids healthy with routine health care and vaccines. Make sure your school-age children are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Infection from certain diseases can kill or seriously harm your child. Vaccines use weakened or killed virus or bacteria to trigger your childs natural immune response to provide long-term protection against a disease . It is like a rehearsal for the immune system, so your child is prepared if they are exposed to the “real” disease.
Vaccinations are safe
Vaccinations do not cause autism.
Scientific studies and reviews continue to show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Some people wont develop immunity to a disease after being vaccinated, but the vaccine itself cannot infect someone. If a vaccinated individual does contract a disease which they were vaccinated against, their illness will be less severe.
Is It Too Late To Get Vaccinated
The answer to this question isnt so clear-cut. If you have an unvaccinated teen headed off to college, there is still time for them to get their vaccines. Your child may also need another shot if they had the vaccine as a preteen. Meningitis vaccines are thought to only last for about five years, according to the Center for Young Womens Health.
Adults can also get the meningitis vaccine if their doctors recommend it. Certain situations can warrant the use of meningitis vaccinations. Examples include spleen removal, going to military camp, or traveling overseas.
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What Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a bacterium. It can cause meningitis, which is an infection of the brain and spinal cord, and it can also cause blood infections. The infection can cause death or lifelong disability.
About 375 people get the disease each year, and about 10 to 15 out of 100 people infected with meningococcal disease die. Of those who survive, up to one out of five will have permanent disabilities, such as deafness, brain damage, loss of limbs, or seizures.
A person with meningococcal disease may become seriously ill very quickly. Antibiotics can treat meningococcal infections, but often cant be given soon enough to help.
Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is most common in infants less than 1 year of age. Teens are less likely to be infected than infants, but disease levels increase in adolescence starting around age 11, and peak around age 19 years.
Your Child’s Vaccination Schedule
Vaccination schedules are carefully studied and designed to give the best possible protection for children against serious diseases.
Canadians should consult with their health care provider or public health authority to determine when they should visit, and learn about the measures that have been put in place to safely deliver immunization services during COVID-19.
Vaccination schedules can vary slightly, depending on the province or territory you live in. This means that some provinces or territories will vaccinate at a different age.
Typically, your child will be vaccinated:
- between birth to 2 months
- at 4 months
- between 12 months and 18 months
- between 4 to 6 years of age
For some of the vaccines, your child will require more than 1 dose at different times. This is needed because for some vaccines, the first dose does not provide as much immunity as possible.
More than 1 dose is needed to build more complete immunity. The DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type B, is an example.
In other cases, the initial series of shots that children receive as part of their infant immunizations helps them build immunity. After a while, however, that immunity begins to wear off.
At this point, a “booster” dose is needed to bring immunity levels back up. The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, is a good example.
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All Infants Children And Adults
Any person from 6 weeks of age who wants to protect themselves against meningococcal disease is recommended to receive MenACWY vaccine and MenB vaccine
Any person who wants to protect themselves against invasive meningococcal disease can receive MenACWY and MenB vaccines from as early as 6 weeks of age.
A summary of the recommendations for use of meningococcal vaccines is shown in Table. Recommendations for meningococcal vaccines for people at risk of meningococcal disease. The table shows the type of vaccines that are strongly recommended for specific age groups and special risk groups. See below for brand and dosing recommendations.
Infants aged < 9 months can receive 2 of the 3 MenACWY brands . Infants and children aged 9 months to 2 years can receive any of the 3 MenACWY vaccine brands, following the age-appropriate dosing schedule.
For all people aged 2 years, it is preferable to receive either Menveo or Nimenrix, rather than Menactra.
There is no preference for either Bexsero or Trumenba for people aged 10 years who wish to receive a MenB vaccine. For people aged < 10 years, Bexsero is the only registered MenB vaccine available in Australia.
Recommended dose schedules
For recommended dose schedules for healthy people aged 2 years who wish to receive meningococcal vaccine, see Table. Recommendations for meningococcal vaccines for healthy people aged 2 years, by age and vaccine brand.
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.
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Do College Students Need Mmr
In the U.S., almost everyone receives the CDC-recommended two doses of MMR, the vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, as young children. The MMR affords good protection against these diseases, and routine vaccination with a third dose of MMR isnt necessary for all students.
Still, there are some circumstances in which youll want your student to get a dose of MMR before he or she arrives on campus. If for some reason your child didnt receive MMR vaccination at a young age, they should have two doses, separated by 28 days.
Heres why: Although most recent measles outbreaks havent been on college campuses, they are considered high-risk settings. Mumps is sometimes a concern for college students as well. Between 2015 and 2017, two large outbreaks at universities in Iowa and Illinois caused several hundred students to get sick.
The CDC usually recommends that people in communities with an active mumps outbreak receive an additional dose of MMR. A 2017 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a mumps booster in an outbreak significantly reduced the risk of infection. For measles outbreaks, the CDC recommends people who arent adequately vaccinated catch up, but people generally dont need an extra dose of MMR if they’re already immune to measles.
Editor’s Note: Catherine Roberts contributed reporting to this story.
Are There Times You Shouldn’t Get The Vaccine
Typically, you want to avoid getting it if you:
- Are very sick. A mild cold is OK, but for anything more than that, it’s better to hold off.
- Had a severe, life-threatening allergy to a meningitis vaccine or some part of it. Your doctor can tell you what’s in the vaccine.
- Had a severe reaction to the DTap vaccine or latex
- Have Guillain-Barre syndrome. Ask your doctor if the vaccine is safe for you.
- Have a latex allergy
May be pregnant or are breastfeeding. It’s typically best to avoid the vaccine in this case, but if it’s needed, your doctor can help weigh the pros and cons.
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Tetanus And Diphtheria Vaccine
Td is a two-in-one vaccine. It protects people against tetanus and diphtheria. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization strongly recommends that all Canadians receive a primary immunizing course of tetanus toxoid in childhood followed by routine booster doses every 10 years.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently introduced one lifetime dose of the pertussis vaccine for adults to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario. All adults 19 to 64 years of age, who have never received the Tdap vaccine in adolescence, are now eligible to receive one lifetime dose of the vaccine. This lifetime dose replaces one of the Td booster doses given every 10 years.
Parents, grandparents or other adult household contacts of newborns, infants and young children as well as health care workers are considered a priority to receive the Tdap vaccine.
What is tetanus?
Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with the tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach, and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.
What is diphtheria?
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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What Are The Risks Of The Meningococcal Vaccine
The most common problems are redness, warmth, swelling, or pain where the shot was given. Your child may feel tried, or he or she may get a headache, mild fever, or chills. Your child may also have muscle or joint pain, or nausea or diarrhea. These symptoms may last up to 7 days. Rarely, your child may develop severe shoulder pain that lasts longer than 2 days. Also rarely, your child may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.
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.
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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.
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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Shouldnt Meningococcal B Vaccine Be Required
CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has reviewed the available data regarding serogroup B meningococcal disease and the vaccines. At the current time, there is no routine recommendation and no statewide requirement for meningococcal B vaccination before going to college . As noted previously, adolescents and young adults may be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age, to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. This would be a decision between a healthcare provider and a patient. These policies may change as new information becomes available.