Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
The meningococcal vaccines protect against meningococcal disease, which can lead to bacterial meningitis and other serious infections.
Two kinds of meningococcal (meh-nin-guh-KOK-uhl) vaccines are currently given to kids in the United States:
Vaccination with meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended:
Those who have their first dose between the ages of 13–15 should get a booster dose between the ages of 16–18. Teens who get their first dose after age 16 won’t need a booster dose.
Kids and teens who are at higher risk for meningococcal disease need the full series of vaccines, even if they’re younger than 11 years old. This includes kids who:
The sequence and dosage depends on the child’s age, medical condition, and vaccine brand. Some types of meningococcal vaccines can be given as early as 8 weeks of age.
Kids 10 years and older with these risk factors also should get the MenB vaccine. They’ll need 2 or 3 doses depending on the brand. They might need more booster doses as long as the risk factor remains.
For those without risk factors, the decision to receive the MenB vaccine should be made together by teens, their parents, and the doctor. For them, the preferred age range is 16–18 years. Usually, they need 2 doses.
Meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria. It can lead to an infection of the bloodstream or meningitis, or both, and can be life-threatening if not quickly treated. The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is very effective at protecting against four strains of the bacteria, while the MenB vaccine protects against a fifth strain.
Some of the most common side effects are swelling, redness, and pain at the site of the injection, along with headache, fever, or tiredness. Serious problems, such as allergic reactions, are rare.
The vaccine is not recommended if:
Your child might have a fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness at the injection area. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever and to find out the right dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help reduce soreness, as can moving or using the arm.
Call the doctor if:
Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.
Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.
Meningitis is treatable, but can be serious. So it’s important to know the symptoms, and get medical care right away if you think that your child has the illness.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.
If you’re old enough to read this, you’ve probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.
Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little “ouch” moment protects you from some major health problems.
You may be wondering what the deal is with meningitis because you’ve heard frightening stuff about meningitis outbreaks in the news.
If you’re afraid of shots, you’re not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.