is an infection of the spinal cord and fluid surrounding the brain. Meningococcal
disease also causes blood infections. Children and young adults, particularly college freshmen
who live in dormitories, are most often affected by meningococcal
disease, but persons of any age can become infected. There are 2 types of meningococcal disease: bacterial and viral. Severity of the disease and treatment depend on which type a person has.
There are 2 types of meningococcal vaccine. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) is routinely recommended for all 11 and 12 year olds, with a booster second dose at 16, and for children over 12 who have not received the vaccine previously. MCV4 is preferred for people aged 11-55, as well as certain high risk children from the ages of 2-10. The meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4) vaccine is recommended for certain older populations.
AAP Vaccine Recommendations
For healthcare providers seeking the most current status of AAP and CDC recommendations, please visit the Vaccine Status Table from Red Book Online. (Exit site)
Current policy- AAP Red Book: Recommendations on Meningococcal Disease (Log-in required, exit site)
- Background information- CDC: Updated Recommendations for use of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (Exit Site)
Facts - What You Need to Know (PDF)
- Why get vaccinated?
- What is meningococcal disease?
- Who should get meningococcal vaccine and when?
- Some people should not get meningococcal vaccine or should wait
- What are the risks from meningococcal vaccine?
- What if there is a moderate or severe reaction?
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
Update on Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS and MCV4) -An
ongoing known risk for serious meningococcal disease exists. Therefore, the CDC
and AAP are recommending that routine vaccination continue of adolescents, college
freshman living in dormitories, and other populations at increased risk of meningitis.
People with a history of GBS should not receive MCV4. (10/19/06)
- AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases statement, Guillain-Barre
Cases Among Recipients of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine: Interim Guidance for
Physicians (Exit Site)
- For general
information about GBS, visit the National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (part of the National Institutes
of Health). (Exit Site)
Last Updated: 7/13/2012