Schedule: Vaccination is the best way to prevent meningitis. There are two different types of meningococcal vaccine: MenACWY (conjugate), and MenB (serogroup B) vaccines. CDC recommends vaccination with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine for all preteens and teens at 11 to 12 years old, with a booster dose at 16 years old. Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) also may be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.
Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness caused by the type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus [muh-ning-goh-KOK-us]. These illnesses are often severe and can be deadly. They include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia).
These bacteria spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions like spit (e.g., by living in close quarters, kissing). Doctors treat meningococcal disease with antibiotics, but quick medical attention is extremely important. Keeping up to date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against meningococcal disease.
CDC website provides accurate information on the meningococcal vaccines.
Vaccines.gov provides resources from federal agencies for the general public and their communities about vaccines across the lifespan.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides questions and answers about meningococcal disease from the Vaccine Education Center.
Immunization Action Coalition offers free information and downloads for healthcare providers, coalitions, and parents.