Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal Disease

      Adolescent Vaccination Recommendation: 
Routine vaccination with a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four major meningococcal serogroups (A, C, W, and Y) is recommended for all adolescents at age 11-12 years with a booster dose at age 16 years.

Meningococcal serogroup B vaccination is recommended for adolescents with certain high risk conditions, including college students on campuses experiencing outbreaks caused by the serogroup B bacteria. 

 Additionally, serogroup B vaccination may be recommended by healthcare professionals for other individuals age 16-23 years, with a preferred age of 16-18 years.

Learn more about serogroup B disease and recent outbreaks on US college campuses.

In October 2016, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated the dosing schedules for serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, MenB-FHbp (Trumenba®). For persons at increased risk for meningococcal disease and during serogroup B outbreaks, 3 doses of MenB-FHbp administered at 0, 1-2, and 6 months are preferred; when given to healthy adolescents not at increased risk for meningococcal disease, 2 doses of MenB-FHbp at 0 and 6 months are preferred.

Talk to your healthcare professional to make sure that your
child is fully protected against all serogroups of this deadly disease.

About meningococcal disease

Meningococcal disease is a rare, but dangerous bacterial infection that most often causes meningitis and blood poisoning (sepsis). Even though it is rare, meningococcal disease is of great concern due to its severity and because, while anyone can get meningococcal disease, adolescents and young adults are at increased risk.

Meningococcal infection can spread quickly, killing an otherwise healthy young person within 24-48 hours. Even with rapid treatment, approximately one out of every 10 people who get meningococcal disease will die and up to 20 percent of those who survive will suffer serious and permanent complications including brain damage, kidney damage, hearing loss, and amputations.

Meningitis is the most common manifestation of the disease. Meningitis causes high fever, headache, and stiff neck. Additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, severe muscle aches, and mental status changes. Because the early symptoms of meningitis may be similar to symptoms of less severe illnesses, it is often misdiagnosed.

Blood infection, also called sepsis, is less common but more deadly. It may begin with sudden onset of fever, accompanied by fatigue, muscle aches, and headache, and about half of patients develop a prominent purplish rash, usually on the arms and legs.