Meningococcal Meningitis


Meningococcal meningitis

is caused by Gram-negative bacteria Neisseria meningitides which is frequently carried in the human nasopharynx without progressing to disease. It is transmitted by frequent or prolonged inhalation or direct contact of infected droplets. Contact the NPA Pharmacy Services Team for advice.

Vaccination schedule

Brand Vaccine information Primary course Booster
  • Inactivated
  • Licensed from two years of age


  • Single dose
  • Effective after one month

Lasts up to five years

Single dose — may be given if primary course with Menveo, other conjugated meningococcal or meningococcal unconjugated polysaccharide vaccines
  • Inactivated
  • Licensed from 12 months of age


  • Single dose

Check Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) for persistence of immunity in different age groups

Single dose — may be given if primary course with polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine

NB: The quadrivalent ACWY meningococcal vaccine is the recommended vaccine against meningococcal disease for travel purposes (the MenC conjugate vaccine is not used for travel purposes), according to Public Health England’s book “Immunisation against infectious disease: the green book“. Meningococcal vaccines are available as either a polysaccharide or conjugate version — the Green Book states that the conjugate vaccine is the preferred version for travel purposes in all age groups.

Previously, Menveo – manufactured by Novartis Vaccines Ltd – was the only conjugate quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine available for travel purposes, with its use in children under the age of 11 years being unlicensed. Nimenrix, also a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine, was launched by GlaxoSmithKline UK in July 2012 and is now also available for travel purposes. Menveo and Nimenrix are both licensed for use in children, following an update to the Summary of Product Characteristics of Menveo.

The updated version of Menveo is licensed for use in children from two years of age; Nimenrix is licensed for use in children from the age of 12 months. The Green Book has been updated to reflect the launch of Nimenrix and the new version of Menveo and includes the updated information regarding children’s doses. For children below 12 months of age, the conjugate quadrivalent vaccine, Menveo, is the preferred vaccine although its use would be “off-label”.

Please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services Team for further details.

The information below is based on Public Health England recommendations; individual Summaries of Product Characteristics should be referred to for manufacturer recommendations regarding individual brands.

Acute illness

If a patient is suffering from an acute illness, immunisation should be postponed until they have recovered. Patients with minor infections without fever or systemic upset do not need to postpone their vaccination schedule.

Administration with other vaccines

ACWY vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines such as pneumococcal, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib, as long as they are at different sites.

Immunocompromised patients

ACWY vaccine should be given to patients who are immunocompromised if they are travelling to an area of risk, however, it may not be as effective. Specialist advice may be required.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

No harmful effects due to ACWY vaccination during pregnancy or breastfeeding have been reported so it may be given when clinically indicated.