What Happens When You Take The Meningitis Vaccine?

Meningitis can be caused by several different infections and there are a number of different vaccines which offer some partial protection against contracting this disease. If you want to learn more about the suite of meningococcal vaccines then contact Miles Pharmacy at their travel clinic in Epsom where you can also book a vaccination appointment.

What are the different types of vaccine for Meningitis?

  • Meningitis B vaccine – this vaccine offers protection against meningococcal group B bacteria which are a common cause of meningitis in young children. The vaccine is included as part of the childhood vaccination protocol and is administered to babies at 8 weeks followed by a second dose at 16 weeks and a booster at 1 year
  • 6-in-1 vaccine – this offers protection against other diseases as well as meningitis including tetanus, whooping cough, polio and diptheria. Sometimes called the Hib vaccine, hib are a type of bacteria that can cause meningitis. The vaccine is given three times to babies at 8,12 and 16 weeks
  • Pneumococcal vaccine – pneumococcal bacteria can cause serious infections including meningitis. The vaccination protocol varies depending upon the age of the baby with babies born prior to 1st January 2020 receiving three doses and babies born after that date offered two separate injections at 12 weeks old with a booster at 1 year
  • Hib/Men C vaccine – this is offered to babies at 1 year and is a combined vaccine offering protection against a type of bacteria called meningococcal group C bacteria
  • Meningitis ACWY vaccine – teenagers and first-time university students are offered an extra vaccination to protect against meningococcal group C bacteria

What are the most common side effects of Meningococcal vaccinations?

Most vaccinations will produce mild side effects including tiredness and fatigue sometimes with a headache. Flu-like symptoms may develop including muscle or joint pain. There may also be soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site. These side effects usually last three or four days and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammatories.

As with all vaccines, some people may go on to experience more severe side effects and these can include a fever or chills and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. Serious listed side effects are rare but may include respiratory compromise, a swollen face and throat and a rapid heart rate.

Find out more about the meningococcal vaccines at Miles Pharmacy’s travel clinic in Epsom.