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 receive a meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Since protection wanes, CDC recommends a booster dose at age 16 years. The booster dose provides protection during the ages when adolescents are at highest risk of meningococcal disease.

Adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years old) may also receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. The preferred age for receipt is 16 through 18 years so adolescents have protection during the ages of increased risk. However, CDC recommends that certain adolescents and young adults should receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.  They include those 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 a complement inhibitor such as Soliris® or Ultomiris®)
  • 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

In certain situations, children and adults should also receive meningococcal vaccines. Some people are at increased risk for meningococcal disease due to

  • Having certain medical conditions
  • Taking specific medications
  • Travel
  • Their profession
  • A meningococcal disease outbreak

See Meningococcal Vaccination: Summary of Who and When to Vaccinate for recommendations by vaccine, age, and risk indication.

Contraindications and Precautions

Do not administer meningococcal vaccines 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

If otherwise indicated, clinicians may administer meningococcal vaccines to pregnant or breastfeeding women.

  • MenACWY: Give to pregnant women at increased risk for serogroup A, C, W, or Y meningococcal disease
  • MenB: Give to pregnant women at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease if the provider and patient deem that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks

Clinicians may administer meningococcal vaccines, if the provider and parent or patient deems the benefits 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: July 26, 2019