Age as a Risk Factor
Infants, preteens, teens, and young adults have the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the United States.
There are meningococcal conjugate vaccines licensed to prevent meningococcal disease for children as young as 6 weeks old (Menactra®, MenHibrix®, or Menveo®), but they are only recommended for children with certain medical conditions, children who are traveling to specific countries, or children who are at risk because of an outbreak in their community.
Preteens, Teens, and Young Adults
CDC recommends that all 11 through 18 year olds should be vaccinated with a quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® or Menveo®). Preteens 11 to 12 years old should visit their clinicians to receive 1 dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine and other preventive services. Since protection decreases over time, a booster dose is recommended at age 16 so teens continue to have protection during the ages when they are at highest risk of meningococcal disease.
Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (2 doses of Bexsero® or 3 doses of Trumenba®), preferably at 16 through 18 years old.
Ask your healthcare professional which meningococcal vaccines are recommended for you or your child.
Questions and Answers for Parents about Meningococcal Disease and Vaccines [3 pages]
Ready-to-print versions of one of the CDC-reviewed Q&A material located on IAC's Vaccine Information web site (www.vaccineinformation.org) Dated 4/07
CDC’s Preteen Vaccine Campaign
Through extensive audience research, CDC has created posters, flyers, and PSAs in English and Spanish to educate parents and providers about preteen vaccines.
Meningococcal State Mandates for Elementary and Secondary Schools
Find out the meningococcal vaccination mandates for elementary and secondary schools in your state.
- Page last reviewed: June 11, 2015
- Page last updated: October 22, 2015
- Content source:
- Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases