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Certain Medical Conditions as a Risk Factor

There are certain diseases, medications and surgical procedures that may weaken the immune system and increase risk of meningococcal disease. A vaccine is available and recommended for persons with these medical conditions.


Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for children from 2 months through 10 years of age with certain medical conditions. These conditions include complement component deficiency and functional or anatomic asplenia (no spleen). Children with functional or anatomic asplenia are NOT recommended to receive Menactra® until 2 years of age in order to avoid interference with the immunologic response (developing protective antibodies) to the infant series of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). Infants 2 through 23 months of age with functional or anatomic asplenia are recommended either to receive Menveo® or MenHibrix® or to wait until 2 years of age to receive Menactra®. Booster doses will also be needed for children with these medical conditions. Learn more about which children need to be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine.


Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is the only licensed meningococcal vaccine for adults 56 years and older and is immunogenic (produces an immune response) in older adults. For adults 56 years and older who have not received a meningococcal vaccine and anticipate requiring a single dose of meningococcal vaccine (e,g, travelers and persons at risk as a result of an outbreak), meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is preferred. For adults 56 years and older who were vaccinated previously with meningococcal conjugate vaccine or for whom multiple doses are anticipated (e.g. adults who have complement component deficiency or functional or anatomic asplenia (no spleen)) meningococcal conjugate vaccine is preferred. A booster dose is recommended every 5 years if the adult remains at increased risk. Learn more about which adults need to be vaccinated with a meningococcal vaccine.