Meningococcal Vaccines Recommended for Preteens and Teens
All 11 to 12 year olds should be vaccinated with a single dose of a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine. A booster dose is recommended at age 16 so teens continue to have protection during the ages when they are at highest risk of meningococcal disease. This vaccine helps protect against serogroups A, C, W, and Y, but not serogroup B. If your teenager missed getting a dose, ask the doctor about getting it now.
Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years old. Two or three doses of a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine are needed, depending on the brand, and the same brand must be used for all doses. Talk with your teen’s clinician if you are interested in serogroup B meningococcal vaccination.
Meningitis Vaccine: What you need to know
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness, caused by a virus or several types of bacteria. It is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2-18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings. Meningococcal disease can also infect the bloodstream very quickly and death can occur within 12 hours of onset of symptoms.
Who should get the meningococcal Vaccination?
Meningococcal vaccines are now available that help protect against all three serogroups of meningococcal disease that are most commonly seen in the United States (serogroups B, C and Y), but they will not prevent all cases. There are three kinds of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States:
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccines (Menactra®, MenHibrix® and Menveo®)
- Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®)
- Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines (Bexsero® and Trumenba®)
Visit the CDC website to learn more about the vaccination and meningitis.