Meningococcal Vaccine: Types, Who Needs It, and Side Effects – Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine consisting of serotypes A, C, W-135 and Y should be administered for those traveling to a risky area of meningococcal infected, especially for those who would travel to specific areas or live or work with indigenous peoples during extraordinary events.
The risky areas of infected W135 strains in Africa include Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan; The entire Gambia, Guinea, Togo, and Benin regions; Southwest Ethiopia; Northern parts of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Uganda, and Kenya. The Outbreaks may occur in the outside countries mentioned herein.
Saudi Arabia enforces the obligation to immunize the tetravalent vaccine A, C, W135 and Y for prospective pilgrims during the Hajj and Umrah seasons; Including for other visitors despite receiving the meningococcal Conyugation vaccine group C.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the brain and spinal membranes caused by viral or bacterial infections. To minimize viral or bacterial infections causing meningitis, administering meningitis vaccines need to be performed. Moreover, if you are in the age range 16-23 years. The age is the most risky age for meningitis.
What is meningococcal vaccine?
Vaccine meningitis contains antigens, which are substances that stimulate the immune system to form antibodies and fight for meningitis-causing bacteria.
The first meningococcal vaccine, i.e. MPSV4, is created in 1978. Then MCV4 (Meningococcal conjugate vaccine) in 2005. MPSV4 is also called the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, while MCV4 called the meningococcal conjugated vaccine. Both protect from four types of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup A, C, W, and Y. In fact, there are at least 13 serogroups of Neisseria meningitidis.
Meningococcal Vaccine Types
There are 3 types of meningococcal vaccines:
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) which protects against four types of meningococcal bacteria (called type A, C, W, and Y). This vaccine is recommended for all children.
- Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4)
- Serogroup B Meningococcal B or MenB
The first dose of MCV4 vaccine is recommended in children aged 11-12 years. The advanced Dose (booster) of this vaccine will then be done at the age of 16 years.
MCV4 and MPSV4 are said to be able to prevent approximately 70 percent of all types of meningococcal infections. The success rate of the prevention is also high, at 90 percent of the people who have received it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends administering the ACWY vaccine for children aged between 2 months to 10 years with the following conditions:
- A rare type of immune disorder called complement component deficiency;
- Using a drug type called complement inhibitor;
- Experiencing damage to the spleen or having undergone an appointment of the spleen;
- Suffer from HIV.
Is the meningococcal vaccine necessary?
The main reason for the introduction of meningitis vaccine is preventing meningitis. The reason, this disease can trigger serious complications to cause death when not addressed immediately.
Who needs meningococcal vaccine?
Vaccinations for travelers
Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for people who are going to travel or live in the sub-Saharan Africa region, known as “Meningitis Belt“.
Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Umrah or Hajj
A visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Umrah or pilgrimage requires quadrivalent vaccinations at least 10 days and no more than 3 years for the polysaccharide vaccine before arriving in the Holy Land. Conjugated vaccines were administered no more than 5 years before arriving in Saudi Arabia.
Administering meningitis Vaccine is recommended for everyone. However the groups of people below are strongly advised to receive meningitis vaccine:
- Children and adolescents aged 11-19 years, or among younger children who are at high risk of meningitis.
- People who are exposed to bacteria or viruses cause meningitis, such as medical workers.
- People with immune disorders, such as people with HIV/AIDS, cancer who undergo chemotherapy, or those who are taking immunosuppressive drugs
- People experiencing malfunction of the spleen or have undergone surgical removal of the spleen.
- The soldiers.
Meningococcal vaccine side effects
Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site can occur one to two days after immunization.