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Meningococcal Vaccine

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria that infects the brain and spinal cord coverings, and can also cause blood infections. About 2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S.

Who should get meningococcal vaccine?

  • U.S. Military recruits
  • People who might be affected during an outbreak of certain types of meningococcal disease
  • Anyone who has a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been removed
  • Anyone who has a terminal complement component deficiency

The vaccine should be considered for:

  • Some laboratory workers who are routinely exposed to the meningococcal bacteria

What are the risks from meningococcal vaccine?

The risk of the meningococcal vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. In the event of a moderate or severe reaction, physicians should ascertain the date and time of the reaction as well as when the vaccination was administered. Physicians should contact the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967 or on the web.

Additional information is available from the CDC on Meningococcal.

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