A vaccine is available for some of the different types of meningitis. For example, a vaccine has been developed to prevent infection due to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). It is recommended for all children two months to five years of age. Other examples include the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) and meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4). A newly licensed vaccine appears to be effective for the prevention of pneumococcal infections in infants.
Meningitis Vaccine: An Overview
There are several causes of spinal meningitis. The two most common are bacteria and viruses.
Today, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis. Just like with Hib, there are vaccines against some types of N. meningitidis and many types of S. pneumoniae.
The Hib Vaccine
There is a meningitis vaccine to prevent disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). It is recommended for children two months to five years of age. The Hib vaccine is also recommended in people over the age of five with certain medical conditions. It is safe and effective, with rare occurrences of side effects.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Licensure of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menveo) and guidance for use --- Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. MMWR 2010; 59(09);273.
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