VACCINE INFORMATION STATEMENT
What You Need to Know
What is meningococcal
Many Vaccine Information Statements are available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis.
Hojas de Informacián Sobre Vacunas están disponibles en Español y en muchos otros idiomas.
Who should get meningococcal
vaccine and when?
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness. It
is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2
through 18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is
an infection of the covering of the brain and the spinal
Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections.
Adolescents in this age group with HIV infection should
get three doses: 2 doses 2 months apart at 11 or 12 years,
plus a booster at age 16.
About 1,000 – 1,200 people get meningococcal disease
each year in the U.S. Even when they are treated with
antibiotics, 10-15% of these people die. Of those who
live, another 11%-19% lose their arms or legs, have
problems with their nervous systems, become deaf or
mentally retarded, or suffer seizures or strokes.
Anyone can get meningococcal disease. But it is most
common in infants less than one year of age and people
16-21 years. Children with certain medical conditions,
such as lack of a spleen, have an increased risk of
getting meningococcal disease. College freshmen living
in dorms are also at increased risk.
Meningococcal infections can be treated with drugs such
as penicillin. Still, many people who get the disease die
from it, and many others are affected for life. This is why
preventing the disease through use of meningococcal
vaccine is important for people at highest risk.
There are two kinds of meningococcal vaccine in the
• Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) is the
preferred vaccine for people 55 years of age and
• Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4) has
been available since the 1970s. It is the only meningo-
coccal vaccine licensed for people older than 55.
Both vaccines can prevent 4 types of meningococcal
disease, including 2 of the 3 types most common in the
United States and a type that causes epidemics in Africa.
There are other types of meningococcal disease; the
vaccines do not protect against these.
Two doses of MCV4 are recommended for adolescents
11 through 18 years of age: the ﬁrst dose at 11 or 12
years of age, with a booster dose at age 16.
If the ﬁrst dose (or series) is given between 13 and 15
years of age, the booster should be given between 16
and 18. If the ﬁrst dose (or series) is given after the 16th
birthday, a booster is not needed.
Other People at Increased Risk
• College freshmen living in dormitories.
• Laboratory personnel who are routinely exposed to
• U.S. military recruits.
• Anyone traveling to, or living in, a part of the world
where meningococcal disease is common, such as
parts of Africa.
• Anyone who has a damaged spleen, or whose spleen
has been removed.
• Anyone who has persistent complement component
deﬁciency (an immune system disorder).
• People who might have been exposed to meningitis
during an outbreak.
Children between 9 and 23 months of age, and anyone
else with certain medical conditions need 2 doses for
adequate protection. Ask your doctor about the number
and timing of doses, and the need for booster doses.
MCV4 is the preferred vaccine for people in these
groups who are 9 months through 55 years of age.
MPSV4 can be used for adults older than 55.
Some people should not get
meningococcal vaccine or should
• Anyone who has ever had a severe (life-threatening)
allergic reaction to a previous dose of MCV4 or
MPSV4 vaccine should not get another dose of either
• Anyone who has a severe (life threatening) allergy to
any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. Tell
your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
• Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time
the shot is scheduled should probably wait until they
recover. Ask your doctor. People with a mild illness
can usually get the vaccine.
• Meningococcal vaccines may be given to pregnant
women. MCV4 is a fairly new vaccine and has not
been studied in pregnant women as much as MPSV4
has. It should be used only if clearly needed. The
manufacturers of MCV4 maintain pregnancy registries
for women who are vaccinated while pregnant.
Except for children with sickle cell disease or without a
working spleen, meningococcal vaccines may be given
at the same time as other vaccines.
What are the risks from
A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause
serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The
risk of meningococcal vaccine causing serious harm, or
death, is extremely small.
Brief fainting spells and related symptoms (such as jerking or
seizure-like movements) can follow a vaccination. They happen
most often with adolescents, and they can result in falls and
Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after getting the shot –
especially if you feel faint – can help prevent these injuries.
What if there is a moderate or
What should I look for?
Any unusual condition, such as a severe allergic reaction
or a high fever. If a severe allergic reaction occurred, it
would be within a few minutes to an hour after the shot.
Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difﬁculty
breathing, weakness, hoarseness or wheezing, a fast
heart beat, hives, dizziness, paleness, or swelling of
What should I do?
• Call a doctor, or get the person to a doctor right away.
• Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it
happened, and when the vaccination was given.
• Ask your provider to report the reaction by ﬁling a
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
form. Or you can ﬁle this report through the VAERS
website at www.vaers.hhs.gov, or by calling
VAERS does not provide medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
(VICP) was created in 1986.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a
vaccine can learn about the program and about ﬁling a
claim by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP
website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation.
How can I learn more?
• Your doctor can give you the vaccine package insert or
suggest other sources of information.
• Call your local or state health department.
As many as half the people who get meningococcal
vaccines have mild side effects, such as redness or pain
where the shot was given.
• Contact the Centers for Disease Control and
- Call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO) or
- Visit CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines
If these problems occur, they usually last for 1 or 2 days.
They are more common after MCV4 than after MPSV4.
A small percentage of people who receive the vaccine
develop a mild fever.
Serious allergic reactions, within a few minutes to a few
hours of the shot, are very rare.
Vaccine Information Statement (Interim)
42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26
Download as a PDF File...
Meningococcal vaccine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Target disease||Neisseria meningitidis|
|ATC code||J07 J07 J07 J07 J07 J07 J07 J07 J07|
| (what is this?) |
Neisseria meningitidis has 13 clinically significant serogroups. These are classified according to the antigenic structure of their polysaccharide capsule. Six serogroups, A, B, C, Y, W135 and X are responsible for virtually all cases of the disease in humans.
Quadrivalent (Serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y)
There are currently three vaccines available in the US to prevent meningococcal disease, all quadrivalent in nature, targeting serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y:
- two conjugate vaccines (MCV-4), Menactra and Menveo, and
- one polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV-4), Menomune, produced by Sanofi Pasteur.
The first meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), Menactra, was licensed in the U.S. in 2005 by Sanofi Pasteur; Menveo, was licensed in 2010 by Novartis. Both MCV4 vaccines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people 2 through 55 years of age. In April 2011, Menactra received FDA approval for use in children as young as 9 months, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not made recommendations for or against its use in children less than 2. 
Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4), Menomune, has been available since the 1970s. It may be used if MCV4 is not available, and is the only meningococcal vaccine licensed for people older than 55. Information about who should receive the meningococcal vaccine is available from the CDC.
The duration of immunity mediated by Menomune (MPSV4) is three years or less in children aged under 5 because it does not generate memory T cells. Attempting to overcome this problem by repeated immunization results in a diminished not increased antibody response, so boosters are not recommended with this vaccine. As with all polysaccharide vaccines, Menomune does not produce mucosal immunity, so people can still become colonised with virulent strains of meningococcus, and no herd immunity can develop. For this reason, Menomune is suitable for travelers requiring short-term protection, but not for national public health prevention programs.
Menveo and Menactra contain the same antigens as Menomune, but the antigens are conjugated to a diphtheria-toxoid polysaccharide–protein complex, resulting in anticipated enhanced duration of protection, increased immunity with booster vaccinations, and effective herd immunity.
A study published in March 2006 comparing the two kinds of vaccines found that 76% of subjects still had passive protection three years after receiving MCV-4 (63% protective compared with controls), but only 49% has passive protection after receiving MSPV-4 (31% protective compared with controls). As of 2010, there remains limited evidence that any of the current conjugate vaccines offer continued protection beyond three years; studies are ongoing to determine the actual duration of immunity, and the subsequent requirement of booster vaccinations. The CDC offers recommendations regarding who they feel should get booster vaccinations.
Bivalent (Serogroups C and Y)
On June 14, 2012, the FDA approved a new combination vaccine against two types of meningococcal diseases and Hib disease for infants and children 6 weeks to 18 months old. The vaccine, Menhibrix, will prevent disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. This is the first meningococcal vaccine that can be given to infants as young as six weeks old.
A vaccine for serogroup B was developed in Cuba in response to a large outbreak of meningitis B during the 1980s. The VA-MENGOC-BC vaccine proved safe and effective in randomized double-blind studies, but it was granted a license only for research purposes in the United States as political differences limited cooperation between the two countries.
Due to a similarly high prevalence of B-serotype meningitis in Norway between 1975 and 1985, Norwegian health authorities developed a vaccine specifically designed for Norwegian children and young adolescents. Clinical trials were discontinued after the vaccine was shown to cover only slightly more than 50% of all cases. Furthermore, lawsuits for damages were filed against the State of Norway by persons affected by serious adverse reactions. Information that the health authorities obtained during the vaccine development were subsequently passed on to Chiron (now a Novartis subsidiary), who developed a similar vaccine, MeNZB, for New Zealand.
The occurrence of serogroup X was reported in North America, Europe, Australia, and West Africa. Current meningoccocal meningitis vaccine is not known to protect from serogroup X N. meningitidis disease.
- Mascioni A, Bentley BE, Camarda R, et al. (December 2008). "Structural Basis for the Immunogenic Properties of the Meningococcal Vaccine Candidate LP2086". J. Biol. Chem. 284 (13): 8738–46. doi:10.1074/jbc.M808831200. PMC 2659232. PMID 19103601.
- April 22, 2011 Approval Letter - Menactra http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm252511.htm
- "Menningococcal Vaccines - What You Need to Know" (2008). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mening.pdf
- Reingold AL, Broome CV, Hightower AW, et al. (1985). "Age-specific differences in duration of clinical protection after vaccination with meningococcal polysaccharide A vaccine". Lancet 2 (8447): 114–18. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(85)90224-7. PMID 2862316.
- Lepow ML, Goldschneider I, Gold R, Randolph M, Gotschlich EC. (1977). "Persistence of antibody following immunization of children with groups A and C meningococcal polysaccharide vaccines". Pediatrics 60 (5): 673–80. PMID 411104.
- Borrow R, Joseh H, Andrews N, et al. (2000). "Reduced antibody response to revaccination with meningococcal serogroup A polysaccharide vaccine in adults". Vaccine 19 (9–10): 1129–32. doi:10.1016/S0264447454-410X(00)00317-0. PMID 11137248.
- MacLennan J, Obaro S, Deeks J, et al. (1999). "Immune response to revaccination with meningococcal A and C polysaccharides in Gambian children following repeated immunization during early childhood". Vaccine 17 (23–24): 3086–93. doi:10.1016/S0264-410X(99)00139-5. PMID 10462244.
- Hassan-King MK, Wall RA, Greenwood BM. (1988). "Meningococcal carriage, meningococcal disease and vaccination". J Infect 16 (1): 55–9. doi:10.1016/S0163-4453(88)96117-8. PMID 3130424.
- Moore PS, Harrison LH, Telzak EE, Ajello GW, Broome CV. (1988). "Group A meningococcal carriage in travelers returning from Saudi Arabia". J Am Med Assoc 260 (18): 2686–89. doi:10.1001/jama.260.18.2686. PMID 3184335.
- Vu D, Welsch J, Zuno-Mitchell P, Dela Cruz J, Granoff D (2006). "Antibody persistence 3 years after immunization of adolescents with quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine". J Infect Dis 193 (6): 821–8. doi:10.1086/500512. PMID 16479517.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (January 2011). "Updated recommendations for use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines --- Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010". MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 60 (3): 72–6. PMID 21270745.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (September 2009). "Updated recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for revaccination of persons at prolonged increased risk for meningococcal disease". MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 58 (37): 1042–3. PMID 19779400.
- FDA approves new combination vaccine that protects children against two bacterial diseases, FDA Press Release, June 14, 2012
- LaForce FM, Okwo-Bele JM (June 2011). "Eliminating epidemic Group A meningococcal meningitis in Africa through a new vaccine". Health Aff (Millwood) 30 (6): 1049–57. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0328. PMID 21653956.
- Kristiansen PA, Diomandé F, Wei SC, Ouédraogo R, Sangaré L, Sanou I, Kandolo D, Kaboré P, Clark TA (March 2011). "Baseline Meningococcal Carriage in Burkina Faso before the Introduction of a Meningococcal Serogroup A Conjugate Vaccine". Clin Vaccine Immunol 18 (3): 435–43. doi:10.1128/CVI.00479-10. PMC 3067389. PMID 21228139.
- Pérez O, Lastre M, Lapinet J, Bracho G, Díaz M, Zayas C, Taboada C, Sierra G (July 2001). "Immune Response Induction and New Effector Mechanisms Possibly Involved in Protection Conferred by the Cuban Anti-Meningococcal BC Vaccine". Infect Immun 69 (7): 4502–8. doi:10.1128/IAI.69.7.4502-4508.2001. PMC 98525. PMID 11401992.
- Uli L, Castellanos-Serra L, Betancourt L, Domínguez F, Barberá R, Sotolongo F, Guillén G, Pajón Feyt R (June 2006). "Outer membrane vesicles of the VA-MENGOC-BC vaccine against serogroup B of Neisseria meningitidis: Analysis of protein components by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry". Proteomics 6 (11): 3389–99. doi:10.1002/pmic.200500502. PMID 16673438.
- "World: Americas Cuba vaccine deal breaks embargo". BBC News. 29 July 1999. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- "Cuban scientist barred from receiving U.S. prize". MSNBC. 12 November 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Clonal Groupings in Serogroup X Neisseria meningitidis.
- Conterno LO, Silva Filho CR, Rüggeberg JU, Heath PT (2006). Conterno, Lucieni O. ed. "Conjugate vaccines for preventing meningococcal C meningitis and septicaemia". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 3 (3): CD001834. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001834.pub2. PMID 16855979.
- Patel M, Lee CK (2005). Patel, Mahomed. ed. "Polysaccharide vaccines for preventing serogroup A meningococcal meningitis". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD001093. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001093.pub2. PMID 15674874.
Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Meningococcal vaccines protect against most types of meningococcal disease, although they do not prevent all cases. There are two kinds of vaccines that protect against Neisseria meningitidis available in the United States: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® and Menveo®).
For Health Professionals:
What You Should Know
- Brief description
Risk factors, causes, transmission, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
- Pictures of Meningococcal Disease and Bacteria
Warning: Some of these photos might be unsuitable for children. Viewing discretion is advised.
- Meningococcal Disease: Help Prevent It
- Travelers' Health–Yellow Book
Information and updates on risks for travelers, precautions, prevention, etc.
The meningococcal disease can be prevented by the following vaccines: MCV4 and MPSV4.
- Who needs this vaccine
- Side Effects
- Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
- Questions and Answers
- Video: Have You Heard About How To Prevent Meningococcal Disease?
This video, featuring a meningitis expert who is also a concerned mom, helps you learn more about meningococcal disease and how to prevent it. Released 8/11/2009, Run time: 4:42
Podcast: Meningitis Immunization for Adolescents
Adolescent vaccine recommendations for meningococcal disease/meningitis. Released 8/7/2008, Run time: 5:04
As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions, including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a vague feeling of discomfort.
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) Among Persons who Received Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine
- CDC's Vaccine Safety website
- Who should not be vaccinated with Meningococcal vaccine?
- Pregnancy guidelines
- Use of Vaccines to Prevent Meningitis in Persons with Cochlear Implants
For Health Professionals
- Meningococcal vaccine is a vaccine used against Meningococcus, a bacterium that causes meningitis, meningococcemia, septicemia, and rarely carditis, septic arthritis, or pneumonia
- meningococcal vaccine - Google Search
- Meningococcal vaccine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Vaccines: VPD-VAC/Mening/main page
- CDC - Meningococcal - About the Disease
- CDC - Meningococcal - Signs and Symptoms
- Meningococcal Disease Vaccine Questions and Answers
- vis-mening.pdf (application/pdf Object)