Age as a Risk Factor

Infants, teens, and young adults have the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the United States.

Infants

CDC recommends a meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine for children as young as 2 months old if they

Teens and Young Adults

CDC recommends MenACWY vaccination for all 11 through 18 year olds. Preteens 11 to 12 years old should visit their clinicians to receive one dose and other preventive services. Since protection decreases over time, CDC recommends a booster dose at age 16. This allows teens to continue having protection during the ages when they are at highest risk.

Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years old. Healthy teens and young adults who choose to get vaccinated need two doses of the same vaccine brand.

Learn more about meningococcal vaccination recommendations.

Related Pages
A graph showing rates of meningococcal disease by age groups. Infants, adolescents, and young adults have the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the United States.

Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but rates of disease are highest in children younger than 1 year old, with a second peak in adolescence. Among teens and young adults, those 16 through 23 years old have the highest rates of meningococcal disease.

Ask your healthcare professional which meningococcal vaccines they recommend for you or your child.

Page last reviewed: May 31, 2019