Prevent Meningitis



  • Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness that is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus. These illnesses are often severe and include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia).
  • Among those who survive, as many as 19% (1 in 5) live with permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations.
  • Adolescents and young adults are among those at greatest risk for meningococcal disease. In fact, 21% of all meningococcal disease occurs in preteens, teens and young adults ages 11–24.
  • Prevention of meningococcal disease is critical because it can be mistaken for flu or other viral infections and it can rapidly lead to death or disability.
  • Health officials recommend routine vaccination against 4 out of 5 major meningococcal disease serogroups (A, C, W and Y) at 11-12 years with a booster at 16 years (with “MCV4” vaccine). Young adults between 16 and 23 years should also ask a healthcare provider about vaccination against serogroup B (with “MenB” vaccine).
  • 1 in 5 (20%) U.S. teens have not yet received their first dose of the meningococcal vaccination against serogroups A, C, W and Y (MCV4) and remain unprotected. And less than one-third of first dose recipients have received the recommended booster dose.
  • Many teens have not received the meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (MenB) since it was only recently permissively recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015.