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Travel as a Risk Factor

CDC recommends quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal vaccination for persons who travel to or reside in countries in which meningococcal disease is hyperendemic or epidemic, particularly if they will be in close contact with the local population.

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

For international travelers, vaccination with a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine is recommended for persons traveling to the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa during the dry season (December through June).

Vaccination against meningococcal disease is not a requirement for travel to any country except Saudi Arabia, where travelers to Mecca during the annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage must have proof of vaccination with a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine in the last 3 years.

Advisories for travelers to other countries will be issued when epidemics of meningococcal disease are recognized.

Serogroup B meningococcal vaccination is not routinely recommended for international travel.

Travelers 2 Months through 55 Years Old

A quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine is preferred for travelers 2 months through 55 years old. Infants and children who received the bivalent (protects against serogroups C and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine and Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine called MenHibrix® and are traveling should receive a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menveo® or Menactra®) before travel. Travelers who have been vaccinated previously for meningococcal disease, but remain at increased risk should receive booster doses.

Travelers 56 years of age and older

The meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®) is the recommended vaccine for travelers 56 years and older.

For more information on meningococcal vaccine recommendations for travelers, visit the meningococcal section of the CDC Travelers’ Health web site.

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