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.

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.

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.

  • Symptoms of meningitis are often mistaken for the flu
  • Meningococcal infection can be caused by kissing, sharing cigarettes, food, beverages, eating utensils and lip-gloss or close contact (approximately 4 hrs) with an infected person
  • Poor nutrition, lack of sleep, smoking and alcohol consumption cause your immune system to be weakened
  • Those who survive blood infection usually have permanent disabilities such as seizures, loss of arms and/or legs, kidney disease, deafness and/ or mental retardation

Who should get the Meningococcal ACY-W Vaccination?

  • All 11 to 12 year olds
  • All College Freshmen
  • Children and adults without a spleen
  • Those with HIV/AIDS, or other immune disorders
  • Travelers to certain countries (see Travel Vaccines for requirements & recommendations
  • U.S. Military recruits
  • Those with HIV/AIDS, other immune disorders
  • People who might be affected during an outbreak of certain types of meningococcal disease

Who should get the Meningococcal B Vaccination?

  • Teens and young adults 16 to 23 years old
  • Children age 10 years and older with functional or anatomic asplenia, including sickle cell disease
  • Those who are at risk during a community outbreak
  • Meningococcal B vaccine may be given at same time as MenACY-W vaccine

Visit the CDC website to learn more about the vaccination and meningitis.