In the UK every year there are approximately 1,500 reported cases of meningococcal disease, making it the most common cause of bacterial meningitis.
You will need either two or three doses, depending on your age. Most infants and children over the age of 6 months will need two doses.
Meningococcal meningitis is caused by bacteria easily passed from person to person by coughing, sneezing and intimately kissing. If the bacteria passes into the bloodstream it quickly multiplies and releases toxins that can cause widespread damage to the body.
Blood vessels are damaged preventing the vital flow of oxygen to all organs of the body. Damage to the lining of the brain can lead to the infection of the cerebrospinal fluid and the inflammation and pressure around the brain can lead to nerve damage.
Bacterial meningitis can be treated with an antibiotic. It is vital to seek early treatment to prevent possible irreparable damage to the brain and further severe symptoms. If you think that you, or someone you know, is displaying symptoms of meningitis seek medical help immediately at your nearest hospital.
Seek medical attention immediately if you or anyone you know experiences meningitis symptoms. Early treatment is vital to prevent severe complications. The meningitis B vaccine does not protect against meningitis A,C,W and Y.
If you are bringing a young child under two years old, you may wish to bring some paracetamol for them to take after they have had the vaccine to prevent fever.
The course consists of two to three doses, depending on your age.
Children over 2 and adults won’t need a booster. Young children under two may need one or two boosters.
How it is given
The meningitis B vaccine is given as an injection.
Side effects include fever, digestive problems and redness and swelling at the injection site.
Children can get vaccinated from the age of two months.