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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®, Menveo®, or MenHibrix®), 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

Preteens, teens, and young adults also have higher rates of meningococcal disease. CDC recommends routine vaccination of all 11 through 18 year olds with a quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® or Menveo®). Preteens 11–12 years old should visit their clinicians to receive 1 dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine and other preventive services. A booster dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended at 16 years old.

Ask your healthcare professional which meningococcal vaccines are recommended for you or your child.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is currently considering the use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines in preteens, teens, and young adults.

Learn more about meningococcal vaccination recommendations.

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