Meningococcal: Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?

For Healthcare Providers

There are 2 types of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States:

  • Meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccines (Mentactra® and Menveo®)
  • Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines (Bexsero® and Trumenba®)

Learn more below about which of these vaccines are recommended for adolescents, adults, and infants and children.

Patients taking complement inhibitors, such as eculizumab (Soliris®) or ravulizumab (Ultomiris®), are at increased risk for meningococcal disease. These patients may still contract meningococcal disease despite being fully vaccinated or receiving antimicrobial prophylaxis.

Learn more about managing patients who receive complement inhibitors..

Adolescents

CDC recommends meningococcal vaccination for all adolescents.

MenACWY Vaccine

All 11 to 12 year olds should receive a MenACWY vaccine. Since protection wanes, CDC recommends a booster dose at age 16 years. This booster dose provides protection during the ages when adolescents are at highest risk of meningococcal disease. For adolescents who receive the first dose at age 13 through 15 years, administer a booster dose at age 16 through 18 years, before the period of increased risk. Adolescents who receive their first dose of MenACWY vaccine at or after age 16 years do not need a booster dose.

MenB Vaccine

Adolescent Meningococcal Vaccination Information

Find more information about meningococcal vaccination for adolescents, including dose intervals, safety, precautions, and other important details. More…

Adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years of age) may also receive a MenB vaccine. The preferred age at which to administer a MenB vaccine is 16 through 18 years.

CDC recommends that certain adolescents and young adults should receive a MenB 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)

Adolescent Resources

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Adults

Menomune® Discontinued

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®) is no longer available in the United States. People 56 years or older who are recommended meningococcal vaccination because they are at increased risk for meningococcal disease should receive a meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

CDC recommends meningococcal vaccination for some adults.

MenACWY Vaccine

Adults should receive a MenACWY vaccine if:

  • They have complement component deficiency (e.g., C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D, or are taking a complement inhibitor such as Soliris® or Ultomiris®)
  • They have functional or anatomic asplenia
  • They are living with HIV
  • They are a microbiologist who is routinely exposed to Neisseria meningitidis (the causal pathogen)
  • They are traveling or residing in countries in which the disease is common
  • They are part of a population at increased risk because of a serogroup A, C, W or Y meningococcal disease outbreak
  • They are a first-year college student living in a residence hall
  • They are a military recruit

MenB Vaccine

Adults should receive a MenB vaccine if:

  • They have complement component deficiency (e.g., C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D, or are taking a complement inhibitor such as Soliris® or Ultomiris®)
  • They have functional or anatomic asplenia
  • They are a microbiologist who is routinely exposed to Neisseria meningitidis (the causal pathogen)
  • They are part of a population at increased risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak

Adult Resources

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Infants and Children

CDC recommends meningococcal vaccination for some infants and children.

MenACWY Vaccine

CDC recommends MenACWY vaccine for children ages 2 months through 10 years if they:

  • Have complement component deficiencies (e.g., C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D, or are taking a complement inhibitor such as Soliris® or Ultomiris®)
  • Have functional or anatomic asplenia
  • Are living with HIV
  • Travel to specific countries
  • Are part of a population at increased risk because of a serogroup A, C, W or Y meningococcal disease outbreak

Special considerations for use of Menactra® for people with functional or anatomic asplenia or HIV

Children with functional or anatomic asplenia or HIV should not receive Menactra® before the age of 2 years. This timing avoids interference with the immunologic response to the infant series of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). CDC recommends infants 2 through 23 months of age with functional or anatomic asplenia or HIV receive Menveo®.

People 2 years of age or older with functional or anatomic asplenia or HIV should not receive Menactra® at the same time as PCV13. They should either receive Menveo® or wait and receive Menactra® 4 weeks after PCV13.

Special considerations for concomitant use of Menactra® and DTaP

Children can receive Menactra® before or concomitantly with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccines. This timing avoids interference with the immunologic response to the meningococcal vaccine antigens that occurs when administering Menactra® after DTaP. Alternatively, children can receive Menveo®.

Infant and Child Resources

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Page last reviewed: July 26, 2019