Meningococcal diseases are caused by the bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis. It can cause serious infection of the covering of the brain (meningitis) or blood infection (septicemia). Approximately 11% of persons who become ill with a serious meningococcal infection will die.
Shots must be given at least 4 weeks apart.
It is contagious. It can spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing, kissing, sharing food or drink, or with young children when sharing toys that are frequently put into the mouth, such as those used for teething. The bacteria can be found in the nose and throat of many healthy infants, children and adults without causing illness.
The highest number of cases of meningococcal disease occurs in children under 1 year of age followed by children between 1 to 4 years. Outbreaks have occurred in Canada, especially in the schools, with most due to the group C type meningococcal bacteria.
|Age at First Shot||Number of Shots Required|
|less than 4 months||three|
|4 months to 1 year||two|
|older than 1 year||one|
Mild reactions to the vaccine have been reported including pain and redness at the injection site. More severe side effects including fever, difficulty breathing and hives have occurred but rarely.
Temporary headache, relieved by over-the-counter painkillers, is another side effect that is sometimes seen after the Menjugate vaccine.
Menjugate should not be given to anyone if they have a known allergy to any of the components of the vaccine.
In the case of illness, consult with your health care provider about deferring the immunization until after the illness has ended.