What is the Meningitis Vaccine? How Does it Work?

There are many different strains of meningitis and it is possible to protect against some of them with Meningococcal vaccines. The protocols for meningococcal vaccinesare complicated. Miles Pharmacy can offer all the meningitis vaccinations at their travel vaccinations clinic in Epsom.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis or meningococcal diseaseis an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, these are called the meninges which is where the disease gets its name from.

Meningitis can affect anyone but is more common in young children and babies, teenagers and young adults. It is a very serious illness which can result in life-changing disabilities with damage to the brain or nerves and can also cause life-threatening blood poisoning also called septicaemia.

There are several vaccinations that offer some protection against meningitis.

Meningitis vaccinations

Meningitis can be caused in a number of different ways. There are vaccines available which offer protection against some of these causes, these include:-

  • Meningitis B vaccine  - also referred to a the MenB vaccine, this vaccination is offered to babies at 8 and 16 weeksfollowed by a second dose at 16 weeks and a booster at 1 year
  • Hib/MenC vaccine – offered to babies at 1 year of age
  • 6-in-1 vaccine – offered to babies born before 1 January 2020 at 8 and 16 weeks and 1 year of age
  • Pneumococcal vaccine  - offered to babies in their first year of life at three designated intervals
  • MMR vaccine  - offered to babies in their first year at three set intervals
  • ACWY vaccine – offered to teenagers, sixth formers and students going off to University for their first time away from home

Common side effects

Common side effects following the meningitis vaccination in babies, children and young adults include temperature, aches and pains and a general feeling of being unwell which lasts for two or three days after the vaccination. These symptoms can all be managed with anti-inflammatory medication appropriate for the child’s age.

Find out more about the meningococcal vaccines to protect your family at Miles Pharmacy’s travel vaccinations clinic in Epsomwhere you can also make an appointment to have the vaccination. Miles Pharmacy offer clear, professional and friendly advice to help keep you safe from meningitis.