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Meningococcal: Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?

There are three types of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States:

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccines (Mentactra®, MenHibrix®, and Menveo®)
  • Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®)
  • Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines (Bexsero® and Trumenba®)

Learn more below about which of these vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens, adults, and babies and children.


Preteens and Teens

Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for all preteens and teens.

Questions and Answers for Parents of Teenagers

With two types of meningococcal vaccines now available, you may have questions about what’s recommended for your child and side effects of these vaccines, among other questions. View questions and answers.

Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

All 11 to 12 year olds should be vaccinated with a single dose of a quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® or Menveo®). Since protection decreases over time, a booster dose is recommended at age 16 so teens continue to have protection during the years when they are at highest risk of meningococcal disease.

Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine

Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Bexsero® or Trumenba®), preferably at 16 through 18 years old. Two or three doses are needed depending on the brand.

Preteens, teens, and young adults should be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine if they are identified as being at increased risk of meningococcal disease.

Preteen and Teen Resources

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Adults

Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for some adults.

Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

You should get a quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® or Menveo®) if:

  • You have complement component deficiency or are taking Soliris®
  • You have a damaged spleen or your spleen has been removed
  • You are a microbiologist who is routinely exposed to Neisseria meningitidis (the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease)
  • You are traveling or residing in countries in which the disease is common
  • You are part of a population identified to be at increased risk because of a serogroup A, C, W or Y meningococcal disease outbreak
  • You are a first-year college student living in a residence hall
  • You are a military recruit

Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

You should get the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®) if:

  • You are 56 years and older
    and
  • You are traveling or residing in countries in which the disease is common
  • You are part of a population identified to be at increased risk because of a serogroup A, C, W or Y meningococcal disease outbreak

Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine

You should get a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Bexsero® or Trumenba®) if:

  • You have complement component deficiency or are taking Soliris®
  • You have a damaged spleen or your spleen has been removed
  • You are a microbiologist who is routinely exposed to Neisseria meningitidis
  • You are part of a population identified to be at increased risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak

Adult Resources

 

Babies and Children

Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for some babies and children.

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

Certain children from ages 2 months through 10 years at increased risk should get a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra®, MenHibrix®, or Menveo®), including children:

  • With complement component deficiency or who are taking Soliris®
  • With damaged spleen or whose spleen has been removed
  • Who are traveling or residing in countries in which the disease is common
  • Who are part of a population identified to be at increased risk because of a serogroup A, C, W or Y meningococcal disease outbreak

Babies 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 or residing in countries where the disease is common should receive a quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menveo® or Menactra®) before travel.

Baby and Child Resources

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