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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.

Learn more about meningococcal vaccination recommendations.

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