Home » Health » The Meningitis Vaccine – Important Information for Parents


The majority of the colleges make it a requirement for students to get the meningococcal vaccine before they move into the dorm. Also there are some summer camps that also recommend this vaccine. Why is this so?


Meningococcal is the main cause of bacterial meningitis in teenagers. It is well known that meningitis is an extremely dangerous spinal cord and brain lining inflammation that is caused by bacteria and viruses. Take note that not all the different types of meningitis are preventable with the use of vaccines. The good news is that immunization is able to provide protection against four kinds of meningococcal disease.

Why is it Important for Teens to Take a Meningococcal Vaccine?


Out of 1,000 to 2,600 people who contract meningococcal disease every year, a third is young adults and teens. 10% to 15% of those who end up sick with this ailment die even after undergoing antibiotic treatment. Approximately 20% suffer from permanent side effects such as brain damage and hearing loss. For this reason, immunization against meningococcal disease is vital.

The following meningococcal vaccines can be found in the U.S. To learn more get in touch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Call 1-800-232-4636 ( 1-800-CDC-INFO) or visit CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines

Meningococcal polysaccharide, which is sold as menomune.

The meningococcal vaccine that is known as Menveo or Menactra.

These vaccines have the ability of preventing four different types of meningococcal disease that represents about 70% of U.S. cases.

For those aged between nine months and 55 years, Menveo is the preferred vaccine. This is because it provides a lasting protection and it reduces the carrier rates of the meningococcal bacteria that aids in the prevention of its spread. One dose is injected in the muscle. In case you cannot find MCV4, then you can utilize MPSV4, which is injected right beneath the skin. Those over 55 years can use Menomune. It is safe to give this vaccine along with other kinds of vaccines. The recommended dosage for teens is one dose at 11 and then another one dose at 16.

Who Should Use the Meningococcal Vaccine?

  • Children between the age of 11 and 18 or younger high-risk kids

  • Any person who has been directly exposed to meningitis during outbreaks

  • Any person residing in areas where meningitis outbreaks are common like Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Military recruits

  • Those with immune system disorders or damages in their spleen

Which People Do Not Qualify For the Meningococcal Vaccine?

Preteens should not be given the meningococcal vaccine in case they have had some serious allergic reactions to a past dose of meningococcal vaccine or any of its components. Also those are severely ill or have been diagnosed with having the Guillain-Barre syndrome.

In the case of pregnant women, they can receive the meningococcal vaccine; however, its usage should be clearly indicated. Take note that here have not been much studied conducted on the MCV4 vaccines and their effect on pregnant women.

The Side Effects

The mild side effects of using meningococcal vaccines include redness and pain at the injection site that should not last for more than two days. However, some of the serious side effects include:

  • Problems with breathing

  • Wheezing and hoarseness

  • Paleness

  • Hives

  • Weakness

  • Dizziness

Once any of these signs are evident, it should be reported to the doctor immediately.

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