Meningococcal meningitis

What you need to know about Meningococcal Meningitis

Meningococcal Meningitis is a rare but serious infection. It causes the linings that cover the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed.

Meningococcal Meningitis can be fatal or cause great harm without prompt treatment; as many as one out of five people who contract the infection have serious complications.

About 15% of those who survive are left with disabilities that include deafness, brain damage, and neurological problems.

Different strains of Meningococcal bacteria cause different Meningococcal infections. Groups B and C are the most common in the UK, and vaccination against group C Meningitis is now part of the childhood vaccination programme. Groups A, Y and W135 are more common elsewhere in the world.

High-risk areas

High-risk areas for Meningococcal Meningitis include parts of Africa and Saudi Arabia

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of Meningococcal Meningitis may vary from case to case. The more common signs and symptoms include:

  • General poor feeling
  • Sudden high fever
  • Severe, persistent headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Discomfort in bright lights (photophobia)
  • Drowsiness or difficulty awakening
  • Joint pain
  • Confusion or other mental changes
  • Petechial rash (blood spots under the skin)

The vaccine

The Meningococcal vaccination (Menveo) will protect you against groups A, C, Y and W135 Meningitis. This should be given two to three weeks before you travel.

For adults and children over five years of age, a single dose provides protection for about five years. For children under five years of age, the vaccine gives protection for two to three years.

For infants aged between two months and two years, the initial dose of the vaccine must be followed by a second dose three months later.

The Meningitis vaccine is not suitable for babies younger than two months old.

VaccinationDosesSchedule and ValidityPrice*
Meningitis ACWY + Certificate (Menveo)1Dose given a few days before travel£55.00
Meningitis B (Bexsero)1(See Meningitis B page for schedule)£145.00
*Price per dose. Please see the dosage to calculate the overall cost.
*Prices are subject to change please contact us for the latest pricing.

Number and Timing of Doses

MenACWY Vaccines

Administer MenACWY vaccines (Menactra® or Menveo®) to adolescents as 1 primary dose at 11 to 12 years of age. Administer 1 booster dose at 16 years of age. The minimum interval between doses is at least 8 weeks.

Patients 2 years of age or older should receive a 2-dose primary series 2 months apart if they have

  • Complement component deficiencies
  • Complement inhibitor use (including Soliris® or Ultomiris®)
  • Functional or anatomic asplenia
  • HIV

For patients at prolonged increased risk for meningococcal disease, CDC recommends MenACWY booster doses after completion of the primary series. For patients who received their most recent dose before age 7 years, administer the booster dose 3 years later. For patients who received their most recent dose at age 7 years or older, administer the booster dose 5 years later. Administer boosters every 5 years thereafter throughout life as long as the person remains at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

The number of doses and schedule for patients under 2 years of age varies by vaccine product. See package inserts for specific guidance.

MenB Vaccines

Both MenB vaccine products require more than 1 dose for maximum protection. Patients must receive the same vaccine product for all doses.

  • Bexsero:® Administer 2 doses. Administer the second dose at least 1 month after the first dose.
  • Trumenba:® Administer 2 or 3 doses.
    • Administer 2 doses to healthy adolescents who are not at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease. Administer the second dose 6 months after the first dose.
    • Administer 3 doses to adolescents who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease. This includes during outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease. Administer the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first dose. Administer the third dose 6 months after the first dose.

Predrawing Vaccine Doses

Do not predraw vaccine doses. There are no data on the stability of vaccines stored in syringes filled by healthcare professionals. Do not open vaccine vials until time of administration.

After reconstitution administer Menveo® within 8 hours or discard.