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Certain Medical Conditions as a Risk Factor

There are certain medical conditions and medications that may weaken the immune system and increase risk of meningococcal disease. People with the medical conditions listed below are recommended to receive both a quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® or Menveo®) and a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Bexsero® or Trumenba®) for protection against meningococcal disease.

Persistent Complement Component Deficiencies

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

Complement component deficiencies refer to disorders of the ‘complement system,’ which helps the body fight off infections. Examples of complement component deficiencies include C3, C5-9, properdin, factor H, and factor D. These disorders are very rare and usually genetic. People who take Soliris® for treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) are also at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

Functional or Anatomic Asplenia

Someone with anatomic asplenia does not have a spleen (for instance, if it was surgically removed), while functional asplenia is where someone has a spleen but it doesn’t work the way that it should. People with sickle cell anemia have functional asplenia. The spleen is an important organ for fighting meningococcal infections because it helps produce antibodies and filter bacteria.

Learn more about meningococcal vaccine recommendations.