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Meningococcal Vaccine

Who Should Get the Vaccine?

The meningococcal vaccine is recommended for:
  • Adolescents (11- to 12-year-olds at their routine preadolescent checkup). If not previously vaccinated, adolescents should be vaccinated before they enter high school, at around 15 years of age.
  • Other adolescents who want to lower their risk of meningococcal meningitis.
  • People who have an elevated risk of meningococcal disease.
  • College freshmen living in dormitories.
  • Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitidis.
  • Military recruits.
  • People who travel to, or live in, countries where meningococcal disease is very common.
  • Anyone whose spleen has been damaged or removed and people with certain other immune system disorders.
  • People advised to receive vaccination during an outbreak.


(Click Menomune Uses or Menactra Uses for more information.)


Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?

The new meningococcal vaccine, MCV-4, is NOT recommended for:
  • Anyone who has ever had a severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a previous dose of either meningococcal vaccine should not get another dose.
  • Anyone who has a severe (life-threatening) allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • People who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled; in most cases, they should wait until they recover. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.
  • Meningococcal vaccines may be given to pregnant women. However, MCV-4 is a new vaccine and has not been studied in pregnant women as much as MPSV-4 has.



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