Meningococcal: Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?

One of the Recommended Vaccines

For Healthcare Providers

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

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

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

Patients taking eculizumab (Soliris®) 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 eculizumab..

Adolescents

Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for all adolescents.

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

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. For adolescents who receive the first dose at age 13 through 15 years, a booster dose should be administered, preferably at age 16 through 18 years, before the period of increased risk. Adolescents who receive their first dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine at or after age 16 years do not need a booster dose.

Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine

Adolescent Meningococcal Vaccination Information

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

All adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years of age) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age. 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).

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.

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

Adults should get a meningococcal conjugate vaccine if:

  • They have complement component deficiency (e.g., C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D, or are taking Soliris®)
  • 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 identified to be 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

Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine

Adults should get a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine if:

  • They have complement component deficiency (e.g., C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D, or are taking Soliris®)
  • 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 identified to be 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.

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

CDC recommends meningococcal conjugate 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 Soliris®)
  • Have functional or anatomic asplenia
  • Are living with HIV
  • Travel to specific countries
  • Are part of a population identified to be 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 are not recommended to receive Menactra® until 2 years of age in order to avoid interference with the immunologic response to the infant series of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). CDC recommends that infants 2 through 23 months of age with functional or anatomic asplenia or HIV either receive Menveo® or wait until 2 years of age to receive Menactra®.

People 2 years of age or older with functional or anatomic asplenia or HIV are not recommended to receive Menactra® at the same time as PCV13. They should either receive Menveo® or wait until they have received PCV13.

Infant and Child Resources

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Page last reviewed: May 19, 2017