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.
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.
(Click Menomune Warnings and Precautions or Menactra Warnings and Precautions for more information.)