This vaccine protects people from Meningitis C.
Who should get the meningococcal vaccine?
- Children 12 months of age and older
- Close contacts of people with meningococcal infections
- Persons at high risk of meningococcal disease
Who should not get the meningococcal vaccine?
- People with a high fever or serious infection worse than a cold.
- People with a known allergy to anything in the vaccine.
- Children under 12 months of age (as per the Ontario Publicly Funded Schedule).
Common Side Effects
- With any vaccine, there may be some redness or soreness at the place where the needle went into the arm or leg.
- Other possible side effects include headache, fussiness, drowsiness and loss of appetite or diarrhea.
Meningococcal infections are caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides group C. These bacteria can infect the nose and throat causing several different infections, including:
- meningitis (brain infection)
- bacteremia (bloodstream infection)
- septicemia (severe blood infection)
How does the meningococcal germ spread?
The germ spreads from the nose and throat of one person to another by close, direct contact like kissing, coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread through saliva (spit) when people share things, such as food and drink or children’s toys. Many people carry the germ and do not get sick. This germ can only live for a few minutes when it is outside of the body. There is no way to tell who will get sick from this germ. People with meningococcal infections need to take antibiotics to get better. But in some cased, even with antibiotics, the germ can cause permanent damage.
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