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.
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 Are The Side Effects Of A Meningitis Vaccine
Certain meningitis vaccines can cause mild side effects, including soreness at the site of the shot, tiredness, headaches, muscle pain, fever, nausea or diarrhea.
Any vaccine carries a very small risk of severe allergic reaction. Go to the ER if you experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, or swelling in the face.
Our CareNow® urgent care clinics are open seven days a week and welcome walk-in patients. Or, try our Web Check-In® feature to avoid wait times from the comfort of your home.
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Route Site And Needle Size
Administer meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningococcal vaccines by the intramuscular route. The preferred site for infants and young children is the vastus lateralis muscle in the anterolateral thigh. The preferred injection site in older children and adults is the deltoid muscle. Use a needle length appropriate for the age and size of the person receiving the vaccine.
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.
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Principles For Developing Pregnancy Recommendations
Formulating policy to guide vaccination of women during pregnancy and breastfeeding is challenging because the evidence-base to guide decisions is extremely limited. In 2008, CDC published Guiding Principles for Developing ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding to provide guidance to help standardize both the process of policy formulation and the format and language of recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding women to CDC workgroups or subject matter experts developing vaccine statements subsequent to that date.
Why It Is Used
Meningitis is an infection of the fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. Meningococcal disease also causes infections in the blood. These infections can be serious and can even cause death or long-term health problems.
Scientists divide meningococcal bacteria into “groups.” Within each type of vaccine are specific formulas that protect against the different groups of meningococcal bacteria. Just because you’ve been immunized against one group of meningococcal bacteria does not mean you are totally protected against getting meningococcal disease from a different group.
Two types of conjugate meningococcal vaccines and a multi-component meningococcal vaccine are used for routine immunization. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has made recommendations on who should get each kind of vaccine.footnote 1
- Children ages 2 months to 11 years
- Babies may get the vaccine starting when they are 2 months old, but the age a baby starts getting the vaccine depends on provincial guidelines. The meningitis vaccine is given in several doses spaced over several weeks.
- A dose given at ages 12 to 23 months is recommended for all children.
- Vaccination may be recommended for children up to 11 years of age if they did not get the vaccine as a baby.
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What Is Meningococcal B Infection
Meningococcal B infection is caused by bacteria called meningococcal type B. 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. Permanent complications of infection include brain damage and deafness. About 1 in 20 people who get sick may die.
Meningococcal infection is spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or close face-to-face contact. It can also be spread through saliva. Babies and young children can become sick through sharing soothers, bottles or toys used by other children. Older children and adults can become sick through activities such as kissing, or sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, lipstick, water bottles, and mouth guards used for sports or mouthpieces of musical instruments.
Who Should Get The Meningococcal Quadrivalent Conjugate Vaccine
The vaccine is provided free to children in grade 9.
The vaccine is also provided free to children and adults at high risk of meningococcal disease, including those who have:
- no spleen, or a spleen that is not working properly
- immune system disorders including complement, properdin or factor D deficiencies, or primary antibody deficiency
- an islet cell or solid organ transplant, or those who are waiting for one
- had a stem cell transplant
- been in close contact with a person with meningococcal A, Y or W-135 disease, or who are determined by public health to be at risk of infection with these during an outbreak in B.C.
The vaccine is recommended, but not provided free, for the following people:
- laboratory workers routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria
- military personnel and
- those living or travelling in a high risk area for meningococcal disease.
For information on high risk travel areas contact a travel clinic.
The vaccine is usually given as 1 dose. Some people may need additional doses of the vaccine. Speak with your health care provider to find out if you need additional doses and when you should get them.
People who are not eligible for the free vaccine but want to be protected against meningococcal A, C, Y and W-135 strains of the disease can purchase the quadrivalent vaccine at most travel clinics and pharmacies.
It is important to keep a record of all immunizations received.
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Who Should Get The Vaccine
In B.C., the Men-B vaccine is provided free to those 2 months of age and older who have been in close contact with a case of meningococcal B disease.
The vaccine is recommended, but not provided free, for those who are at risk of meningococcal B infection due to certain medical conditions including:
- No spleen or a spleen that is not working properly
- Immune system disorders including complement, properdin, factor D deficiencies, or primary antibody deficiency
The vaccine is also recommended, but not provided free for:
- Laboratory workers routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria
- Military personnel
- Those traveling to an area where the risk of meningococcal B disease is high
For information on high risk travel areas contact a travel clinic.
If you want to be protected against meningococcal B disease, you may purchase the vaccine at some travel clinics and pharmacies.
The vaccine is given by injection as a series of 2, 3 or 4 doses. The number of doses depends on how old you are when the immunization series is started. Speak with your health care provider for more information.
It is important to keep a record of all immunizations received.
How Well It Works
The Men-C-C meningococcal vaccine works well. It protects about 97% of infants for one year after they get the vaccine and drops to 70% protection after one year. Booster shots of this vaccine are given to keep the protection level high. The Men-C-ACYW meningococcal vaccine works well and protects about 85% of people from meningococcal disease. The level of protection goes down over a period of years. Not enough information is available to say how long the 4CMenB vaccine protection lasts.
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When Are Meningococcal Vaccines Given
Vaccination with MenACWY is recommended:
- when kids are 11 or 12 years old, with a booster given at age 16
- for teens 1318 years old who haven’t been vaccinated yet
Those who have their first dose between the ages of 1315 should get a booster dose between the ages of 1618. Teens who get their first dose after age 16 won’t need a booster dose.
Kids and teens who are at higher risk for meningococcal disease need the full series of MenACWY vaccines, even if they’re younger than 11 years old. This includes kids who:
- live in or travel to countries where the disease is common
- are present during an outbreak of the disease
- have some kinds of immune disorders. If the immune disorders are chronic, these kids also need a booster dose a few years later, depending on their age at the first dose.
The sequence and dosage depends on the child’s age, medical condition, and vaccine brand. Some types of meningococcal vaccines can be given as early as 8 weeks of age.
Kids 10 years and older with these risk factors also should get the MenB vaccine. They’ll need 2 or 3 doses depending on the brand. They might need more booster doses as long as the risk factor remains.
For those without risk factors, the decision to receive the MenB vaccine should be made together by teens, their parents, and the doctor. For them, the preferred age range is 1618 years. Usually, they need 2 doses.
Anyone Can Get Meningococcal Disease Certain People Are At Increased Risk Including:
- Infants younger than one year old
- Adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old
- People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system
- Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitidis, the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease
- People at risk because of an outbreak in their community
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Meningitis Vaccination Clinics Connecticut Meningococcal Vaccine
Bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis cause meningococcal disease. About 1 in 10 people have these bacteria in the back of their nose and throat with no signs or symptoms of disease this is called being a carrier. But sometimes the bacteria invade the body and cause certain illnesses, which are known as meningococcal disease.
For information on the causes, symptoms, risk factors, vaccination information and much more, visit the Centers for Disease Control website:
Connecticut State law requires that any college student living in college-owned housing be vaccinated against meningitis as a condition for living in the colleges residence halls or apartments.
College Meningococcal Vaccine Requirement:
Students enrolling in the school and living in on-campus housing will be required to show proof of having received a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine within the past 5 years or submit a medical or religious exemption against such vaccination.
Students who need the vaccination should call their private physician or their colleges health center to ask if they provide the vaccination. Some walk-in or urgent care facilities, public health departments, or travel medicine clinics may offer the vaccine. Students can also call the Connecticut Department of Public Healths Immunization Program to get a list of Meningococcal Clinics in Connecticut
To Find Providers in Connecticuts Community Resources Database:
Persons With Inadequate Immunization Records
Children and adults lacking adequate documentation of immunization should be considered unimmunized and started on an immunization schedule appropriate for their age and risk factors. Conjugate meningococcal vaccine, as appropriate for age, may be given regardless of possible previous receipt of the vaccine, as adverse events associated with repeated immunization have not been demonstrated. Refer to Immunization of persons with inadequate immunization records in Part 3 for additional general information.
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Who Should Not Get The Men
Speak with your health care provider if you or your child:
- Has had a life threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of meningococcal vaccine, or any component of the vaccine including kanamycin
- Are taking the medication Soliris®
There is no need to delay getting immunized because of a cold or other mild illness. However, if you have concerns speak with your health care provider.
Are Free Or Low
Yes, if you don’t 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. Note that there may still be an administration fee of up to $21.22 per shot.
- If you are 18 years old or younger: Talk to your doctor or clinic to see if they participate in the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program.
- If you are 19 years old or older: Go to Vaccination Clinics Serving Uninsured and Underinsured Adults to search for a clinic near you that offers low-cost vaccines for eligible adults.
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Persons New To Canada
Health care providers who see persons newly arrived in Canada should review the immunization status and update immunization for these individuals. Review of meningococcal vaccination status is particularly important for persons from areas of the world where sickle cell disease is present as persons with sickle cell disease are at risk of serious meningococcal infections. In many countries outside of Canada, conjugate meningococcal vaccines are in limited use. Information on vaccination schedules in other countries can be found on the World Health Organization website. Refer to Immunization of Persons New to Canada in Part 3 for additional general information.
Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
Speak with your health care provider if you or your child have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of any meningococcal vaccine, or any component of the vaccine.
There is no need to delay getting immunized because of a cold or other mild illness.
However, if you have concerns speak with your health care provider.
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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.
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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What You Need To Know
1. What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness. It is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2 through 18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections.
About 1,000 – 2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. Even when they are treated with antibiotics, 10-15% of these people die. Of those who survive, another 11-19% lose their arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous systems, become mentally retarded, or suffer seizures or strokes.
Anyone can get meningococcal disease. But it is most common in infants less than one year of age and people with certain medical conditions, such as lack of a spleen. College freshmen who live in dormitories, and teenagers 15-19 have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal infections can be treated with drugs such as penicillin. Still, about 1 out of every ten people who get the disease dies from it, and many others are affected for life. This is why preventing the disease through use of meningococcal vaccine is important for people at highest risk.
2. Meningococcal vaccine
There are two kinds of meningococcal vaccine in the U.S.:
– Meningococcal conjugate vaccine was licensed in 2005. It is the preferred vaccine for people 2 through 55 years of age.
3. Who should get meningococcal vaccine and when?
How Many Doses?
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 the U.S. 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.
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