Age as a Risk Factor
Infants, teens and young adults, and older adults have the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the United States.
CDC recommends a meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine for children as young as 2 months old if they
- Have certain medical conditions
- Are traveling to specific countries
- Are at risk because of an outbreak in their community
Teens and young adults
CDC recommends MenACWY vaccination for all 11 through 18 year olds. Preteens 11 to 12 years old should visit their doctor 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.