When To Get Vaccinations Against Viral Causes Of Meningitis
Unfortunately, there isnt a vaccine for the most common cause of viral meningitis called non-polio enteroviruses. In rare cases, other kinds of viral infections can lead to meningitis. These viral infections have vaccines that are available in the U.S. They include:
The vaccinations for these infections all have their own schedule for when you should get them the most frequent being your yearly flu shot. Measles and mumps vaccinations are first completed around the age of six then need to be updated in adolescence and adulthood. Talk to your doctor to make sure that youre up-to-date with your vaccinations.
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.
You Or Your Child Have Had A Life
- If you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a previous dose of MenACWY or MenB vaccine, do not get another dose of that type of vaccine.
- Do not get a meningococcal vaccine if you have a severe allergy to any part of that vaccine. Your or your childs doctor can tell you about the vaccines ingredients.
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Meningitis Vaccine Protects Against Gonorrhea Too
A mass vaccination campaign against meningitis in New Zealand had an unexpected side-effect it helped protect people against gonorrhea, too.
The meningitis vaccine lowered the risk of gonorrhea by more than 30 percent, researchers reported in Tuesdays issue of the Lancet.
Its surprising news, even though the bacteria that cause gonorrhea and the bacteria that cause meningitis are related. Thats because infection with gonorrhea doesnt make people immune to becoming infected again later. And most meningitis vaccines dont seem to have infected gonorrhea rates at all.
And the findings show yet another benefit of vaccinating teenagers who get recommended vaccines at a much lower rate than younger children do.
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To our knowledge, ours is the first study to show an association between a vaccine and a reduction in the risk of gonorrhea, Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and colleagues wrote in their report in the Lancet.
There had been some evidence that gonorrhea rates went down after use of a vaccine against one strain of meningitis, called meningitis B. This was a particularly tough strain to develop a vaccine against, and other meningitis vaccines dont protect against meningitis B.
The vaccine was used in a mass campaign of a million people in 2004 to 2006. The researchers looked for visitors to sexually transmitted disease clinics to see if having been vaccinated made a difference.
Symptoms And Causative Agent
Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, also called meningococcus , are an important cause of bacterial meningitis and sepsis in the United States. Meningococci can also cause pneumonia, otitis media , arthritis, and other infections, although these are less common. Collectively, the different illnesses caused by N. meningitidis are referred to as meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal meningitis symptoms include fever, headache, confusion and stiff neck, which may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Meningococcal bacteremia symptoms include sudden fever onset and rash. Other forms of meningococcal disease have symptoms related to the organ affected: otitis media has ear pain arthritis has joint pain and swelling.
Invasive meningococcal disease can be fatal survivors may have permanent injury, including brain damage, hearing loss, or loss of a limb.
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Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Given At 2 Months 4 Months And 12 Months
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis .
What is invasive pneumococcal disease ?
IPD is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae . This type of bacteria can cause any of the following:
Pneumococcal infection is also a frequent cause of ear infections .
Pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis can sometimes cause death or long lasting complications such as deafness, especially in people with a high-risk medical condition.
Sometimes antibiotics do not work against the pneumococcal infection . Antibiotic resistance occurs when drugs, used to treat the infection, are no longer effective in killing or stopping the growth of particular microorganisms, such as pneumococcal bacteria. When there is antibiotic resistance, it is more difficult to treat the infection.
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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How Is Meningococcal Disease Spread And Who Is Most At Risk
Meningococcal disease is not as contagious as other illnesses, such as a cold or the flu. But it is spread by contact with infected respiratory and throat secretions. That can happen with coughing, kissing, or sneezing.
Because the risk increases with close or prolonged contact with an infected person, family members in the same household and caregivers are at an increased risk. For the same reason, so are college students who live in dormitories.
Why So Many Shots At Once
Scientists base the timing of vaccines for children on a few things:
You might wonder if itâs OK to space out your childâs shots. But keep in mind that thereâs lots of evidence that the vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC is the best for children. And thereâs no evidence that any other schedule is safer or works better.
A child’s body fights off up to 6,000 germs every day. The total amount that a standard round of vaccines exposes them to is only 150.
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Immunogenicity And Vaccine Effectiveness
- Conjugate: A type of vaccine that joins a protein to an antigen in order to improve the protection the vaccine provides
- Recombinant protein: A type of vaccine that contains protein antigens
Incidence of meningococcal disease has declined in the United States since the 1990s and remains low today. Much of the decline occurred prior to routine use of MenACWY vaccines. In addition, serogroup B meningococcal disease declined even though MenB vaccines were not available until the end of 2014.
CDC first recommended adolescents get a MenACWY vaccine in 2005. Since then, the incidence of meningococcal disease in adolescents caused by serogroups C, Y, and W decreased by over 90% . Other age groups that CDC does not recommend routine MenACWY vaccination for did not see this large of a percent decline. These data suggest MenACWY vaccines have provided protection to those vaccinated, but not to the larger, unvaccinated community through population or herd immunity. Experts also believe MenB vaccines do not provide protection to unvaccinated people through population immunity. As part of the licensure process, both MenACWY and MenB vaccines demonstrated that they produce an immune response. This immune response suggests the vaccines are protective , but effectiveness data are limited. Since meningococcal disease is uncommon, many people need to get these vaccines in order to measure their effectiveness.
Serogroup B Meningococcal Or Menb Vaccines
GlaxoSmithKline formulates each 0.5-mL dose of Bexsero® to contain:
- 50 µg each of recombinant proteins Neisserial adhesin A , Neisserial Heparin Binding Antigen , and factor H binding protein
- 25 µg of Outer Membrane Vesicles
- 5 milligrams aluminum hydroxide
- 125 mg sodium chloride
- 10 mg sucrose at pH 6.4 6.7
Each dose contains less than 0.01 µg kanamycin .
Pfizer formulates each 0.5-mL dose of Trumenba® to contain:
- 60 µg each of 2 lipidated fHBP variants
- 0.018 mg of polysorbate 80
- 0.25 mg of Al³+
- 10 millimolar histidine buffered saline at pH 6.0
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Rare Side Effects Of Meningococcal Immunisation
There is a very small risk of a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine. This is why you are advised to stay at the clinic or medical surgery for at least 15 minutes following immunisation in case further treatment is required.
If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact your doctor for further information.
Besides The Vaccine What Are Other Ways I Can Protect Myself
Practice good hygiene to reduce your risk. Avoid sharing the following: smoking materials , food and drink, eating utensils, cosmetics, and toothbrushes. Kissing and direct exposure to saliva through coughing or sneezing can also spread meningococcal meningitis, so practice coughing and sneezing in your sleeve and encourage others to do the same.
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Concerns About Immunisation Side Effects
If a side effect following immunisation is unexpected, persistent or severe, or if you are worried about yourself or your childs condition after an immunisation, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital.
It is important to seek medical advice if you are unwell, as this may be due to other illness rather than because of the vaccination.
In Victoria you can report immunisation side effects to SAEFVIC, the vaccine safety and central reporting service on Tel. 1300 882 924 #1. Ask your immunisation provider how to report adverse events in other states or territories.
The Dangers Of Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease can cause both meningitis and septicaemia . Septicaemia and meningitis can trigger , which is a life-threatening response to infection.
Meningococcal disease is rare but very serious. It requires urgent hospital treatment.
It can lead to life-changing disabilities, such as amputations, hearing loss and brain damage.
The MenACWY vaccine was previously recommended only for people at increased risk of meningococcal disease, including people who have had their spleen removed, or have a spleen that does not work properly, for Hajj pilgrims, and for travellers to countries with high rates of meningococcal disease, including parts of Africa and Latin America.
Read about having the MenACWY vaccine before travelling on our page about travel vaccinations.
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How To Spot Meningococcal Disease
Symptoms of meningococcal disease can start like a bad case of flu but they get worse very quickly. Early treatment can be lifesaving.
Other symptoms of meningococcal disease can include:
- a headache
- cold hands and feet
- drowsiness or difficulty waking up
A rash may also appear that can develop into a purple, bruise-like rash that does not fade under pressure for instance, when gently pressing a glass against it .
If you, or a child or adult you know, has any of these symptoms, get urgent medical help. Do not wait for the rash to develop. Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are vital.
Although meningococcal disease commonly causes meningitis and septicaemia, which can trigger sepsis, it can also more rarely cause other illnesses. These include pneumonia and joint infections .
Find out more about meningitis.
Meningitis Vaccine Could Protect Against Gonorrhoea Studies Find
The meningitis vaccine could be used to provide some protection against gonorrhoea, researchers have said.
In a collection of studies published in Lancet Infectious Diseases they reported that two doses of the 4CMenB vaccine were around 33% to 40% effective against gonorrhoea in adolescents and young adults. A separate modelling study indicated that vaccinating the people most at risk could prevent 110 000 gonorrhoea cases in England and save the NHS £8m over 10 years.
No vaccine for gonorrhoea currently exists, and growing resistance to antibiotics has led to treatments becoming less effective. More than 80 million new cases of gonorrhoea were recorded worldwide
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What Is Bacterial Meningitis
Meningitis bacteria spreads through contact between individuals. The bacteria moves best in situations of close social contact like kissing, sharing silverware or drinks, exchanging lipstick or cigarettes, or coughing. It can also happen over time, like after sharing living conditions for an extended period.
Bacterial meningitis is serious and can be life-threatening. Potential cases should receive immediate medical attention for the best outcome. Early treatment can prevent serious complications, like hospitalization, brain damage, amputations, and even death.
According to the CDC, bacterial meningitis is as contagious as the viruses that cause the flu.
When To Get Vaccinations Against Bacterial Causes Of Meningitis
Meningitis is a disease thats defined by inflammation in membranes called meninges near your brain and spinal cord. It can have several different causes including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and some chemicals.
Different vaccines can protect you from the different causes of meningitis. Each has its own schedule for when you should receive it. Youll first get some of these vaccinations as an infant and others as a teenager or even as an adult. Many require boosters at various points throughout your life particularly if youre in a high-risk category for getting meningitis.
In general, vaccines are most helpful for protecting against bacterial meningitis, which is less common but more severe than viral meningitis.
Meningococcal vaccines protect against the meningitis-causing bacteria N. meningitidis. Two vaccines are currently approved for use in the U.S. Theyre called the MenACWY vaccine and the MenB vaccine.
The MenACWY vaccine is recommended for all young adults around the age of 11 or 12 years old plus a booster shot at 16 years. Another meningococcal vaccine called MenB is recommended between the ages of 16 to 18.
A good question to ask is: how long does the meningitis vaccine last? Even though both meningococcal vaccines produce an immune response, they lose effectiveness over time.
Healthy adults wont require another dose of this vaccine. But you should talk to your doctor about getting another pneumococcal vaccine if youre 65 years or older.
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Where Can I Get Vaccinated
The best place to go for vaccinations is your family medical clinic. They have your medical records and can check to see if youve already had a particular vaccination. Either your doctor or a nurse can give the vaccination.If you dont have a family doctor, you can go to one of the after-hour medical clinics. Ring them first to make sure they can help you with the vaccination you need.You can find a clinic near you on the Healthpoint website. Put in your address and region, and under Select a service, click on GPs/Accident & Urgent Medical Care.Vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule are free. Other vaccines are funded only for people at particular risk of disease. You can choose to pay for vaccines that you are not eligible to receive for free.
Potential Serious Side Effect
Very rarely, serious side effects can occur with any vaccine. Speak with your healthcare provider immediately if you or your child experience:
- Dizziness, ringing in the ears, or vision changes after the vaccine is administered. This could indicate that you are going to faint.
- Severe pain in your shoulder or trouble moving your arm where the shot was administered.
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction, including changes to breathing. This can happen even hours after a shot is given.
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Effectiveness Of The Menb Vaccine
Another type of meningococcal vaccine is the MenB vaccine, which protects against a fifth strain of Neisseria meningitidis. In the U.S., parents can opt to give their children a MenB vaccine once theyre in their teens.
The CDC’s analysis of the efficacy of the MenB vaccines in the real world comes from studies done in other countries. In Canada, a study followed a mass vaccination campaign in a region with a meningitis B outbreak and found that a MenB vaccine was 79% effective in the four years after vaccination.
In the UK, MenB vaccines have become part of the childhood immunization schedule. By 2018 as many as 92% of eligible infants in the UK completed a MenB vaccination by their first birthday, according to a 2020 study in The New England Journal of Medicine.
That study estimated that the vaccine was about 53% effective. This policy has also resulted in a large drop in meningitis B cases. The study noted a 75% drop in cases among vaccine-eligible age groups, compared to the expected numbers.
How Do Meningococcal Bacteria Spread
Meningococcal disease is caused by 13 different groups of meningococcal bacteria.
In the UK, the disease is almost always caused by 1 of 4 meningococcal groups commonly known as MenB, MenC, MenW or MenY. These can be prevented with vaccination.
MenA disease is rare in the UK, but it’s more common in other parts of the world. It can also be prevented by vaccination.
The meningococcal bacteria live in the back of the nose and throat in about 1 in 10 people without causing any symptoms or illness.
Older teenagers are most likely to carry and spread the meningococcal bacteria.
The bacteria are spread from person to person by prolonged close contact such as coughing, kissing or sneezing with someone who is carrying the bacteria.
Very occasionally, the meningococcal bacteria can cause serious illness, including meningitis and septicaemia, which can rapidly lead to sepsis.
Meningococcal infections can happen at any age, but babies, young children and teenagers are especially vulnerable.
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