What Is Meningococcal Disease?
- Infants aged less than one year
- People aged 16-21 years old
- People with certain medical conditions
- Community settings where large groups of people gather, such as college dorms or military bases
- High fever
- Very stiff, sore neck
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Mental confusion
- Unexplained high fever or low body temperature
- Feeding poorly or refusing to eat
- Tautness or bulging of soft spots between skull bones
- Difficulty waking
- Fluid replacement
What Is the Meningococcal Vaccine?
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)—given as a shot into the muscle, preferred for people age 55 years or younger
- Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4)—given as a shot under the skin, preferred for adults age 56 years or older
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
- Two doses given two months apart at 11 or 12 years old
- Booster dose at age 16
- If the first dose is given between 13-15 years old, the booster dose is given between 16-18 years old.
- If the first dose is given after 16 years old, then the booster dose is not needed.
Vaccination for People at Increased Risk
- College freshmen who live in dorms
- People who work in labs who may be exposed to meningococcal bacteria
- Military personnel
- People who travel to or live in areas where meningococcal disease is common
- People who have problems with spleen functioning or do not have a spleen
- People who have a weakened immune system
- People who have been exposed to meningitis during an outbreak
What Are the Risks Associated With the Meningococcal Vaccine?
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
- Have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or its components
- Are moderately or severely ill
What Other Ways Can Meningococcal Disease Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
- Healthcare workers
- Family members
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Immunization American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.cispimmunize.org
Vaccines & Immunizations Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Bacterial meningitis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 26, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Bacterial meningitis in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated May 1, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Deasy A, Read RC. Challenges for development of meningococcal vaccines in infants and children. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011;10(3):335-343.
Honish L, Soskolne CL, et al. Modifiable risk factors for invasive meningococcal disease during an Edmonton, Alberta outbreak, 1999-2002. Can J Public Health. 2008;99(1):46-51.
Huttunen R, Heikkinen T, et al. Smoking and the outcome of infection. J Intern Med. 2011;269(3):258-269.
Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Menactra. DailyMed website. Available at: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=4d8781ff-9366-462c-8161-6e958f44fcb4#section-17. Updated November 2011. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Meningitis. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html. Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Meningococcal disease. DermNet NZ website. Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/bacterial/meningococcal-disease.html. Updated June 29, 2011. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Meningococcal disease. Immunization Saves Lives website. Available at: http://www.vaccineinformation.org/meningococcal. Updated May 29, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Meningococcal vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mening/default.htm. Updated February 7, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Meningococcal vaccines: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.html. Updated October 14, 2011. Accessed June 5, 2013.
10/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for revaccination of persons at prolonged increased risk for meningococcal disease. MMWR. 2009;58(37):1042-1043. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5837a4.htm. Published September 25, 2009. Accessed October 2, 2009.
12/16/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for use of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-D) among children aged 9 through 23 months at increased risk for invasive meningococcal disease. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60(40):1391-1392.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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