How can it be prevented?

Vaccination offers the best protection against meningococcal disease. Meningococcal vaccines are available in the U.S. for people six weeks of age and older.

Routine vaccination is recommended at age 11-12 to protect against serogroups A, C, W and Y. Adolescents should also get a vaccine booster dose at age 16. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends permissive use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccine for adolescents and young adults age 16-23, with a preferred age of 16 to 18. Click here for more information.

Although vaccination can prevent the majority of cases, it’s important to remember that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. Even if you or your children have been vaccinated, it’s a good idea to know the symptoms of meningococcal disease.