Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations

Below are summaries of recommendations from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). For the full text of the recommendations, see Meningococcal ACIP Vaccine Recommendations.

Routine Vaccination of Adolescents

All 11 to 12 year olds should be vaccinated with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Since protection wanes, a booster dose is recommended at age 16 years so adolescents have protection during the ages when they are at highest risk of meningococcal disease.

All adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years old) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at age 16 through 18 years, so they have protection during the ages of increased risk. However, CDC recommends that certain adolescents and young adults should be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.  They include those identified as being at increased risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak and people with certain medical conditions. Those medical conditions include complement component deficiencies (e.g., C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D, or are taking Soliris®) and functional or anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease).

See Meningococcal Vaccination for Adolescents: Information for Healthcare Professionals for additional information.

Vaccination of Children and Adults at Increased Risk

Some people are at increased risk for meningococcal disease due to having certain medical conditions or taking specific medications, or because of travel, their profession, or a meningococcal disease outbreak. In certain situations, children and adults should also receive meningococcal vaccines. See Meningococcal Vaccination: Summary of Who and When to Vaccinate for a summary of all meningococcal vaccine recommendations by vaccine and age and risk indication.

Contraindications and Precautions

Meningococcal vaccines should not be administered to:

  • A person who has ever had a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose
  • A person who has a severe allergy to any vaccine component
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccines may be given to pregnant women who are at increased risk for serogroup A, C, W, or Y meningococcal disease.
  • Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines should only be given to pregnant or breastfeeding women who are at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease who decide, after talking with a doctor, that the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risk

Meningococcal vaccines may be administered, if the provider and parent or patient deems the benefits of vaccination to outweigh the risks, to:

  • A person who has a moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever

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Page last reviewed: May 19, 2017