Vaccination offers the best protection against meningococcal disease. Meningococcal vaccines are now available to help protect against all three serogroups of meningococcal disease that are most commonly seen in the United States (B, C and Y). There are two kinds of vaccines needed to be fully vaccinated:
- Routine vaccination with the conjugate 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 recommends permissive use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccine for adolescents and young adults age 16-23, with a preferred age of 16 to 18. You should ask your doctor about this vaccine. Click here for more information.
Meningococcal vaccines are available in the U.S. for people six weeks of age and older. 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.