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What do you know about Meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (like spit). This can occur when living in close quarters, sharing food or beverages, or kissing. 

Infection can lead to severe illness; including infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream.

How can I get protected against meningococcal disease?

The best protection is to keep up-to-date on recommended vaccines to protect against meningococcal disease.

There are 2 types of meningococcal vaccines used in the United States:

  • Meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine
  • Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine

Who should get this vaccine?


  • All 11 to 12 year olds should get a dose of MenACWY vaccine, with a booster shot at 16 years old. 
  • MenB vaccine may be given at age 16 to 23; (preferably at age 16 - 18 years old); this is a 2-dose series and it is recommended to receive both doses for best protection


Adults with certain health conditions, those identified at higher risk for infection if an outbreak would occur, first-year college students living in residential dorms that are not up-to date with the vaccine (MenACWY only)

For more information: CDC Fact Sheet: Meningococcal for Pre-teens & Teens

Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about your vaccination status

What kind of side effects to expect after vaccination for Meningococcal?

Side effects after vaccination can include pain, redness, & swelling at the injection site. You may also experience muscle aches/pain, fatigue, & headache. Most side effects from the vaccination last approximately 48 hours or less.  

Because of age or health conditions, some people should not get certain vaccines or should wait before getting them.  This includes patients that have had an allergic reaction after a previous shot of a meningococcal vaccine or any severe allergies to vaccine ingredients.

Will I need a prescription for this vaccine?

Ask your pharmacist; most Lewis Drug locations have an agreement with local providers that allows for individual screening & vaccination at the pharmacy that same day. 

What is the cost of the vaccine?

The cost of the vaccine will depend on your insurance. Ask your pharmacist regarding your coverage.


CDC Meningococcal vaccines

CDC Meningococcal Vaccination: What everyone should know

Meningococcal ACWY - Vaccine Information Statement -

Meningococcal B - Vaccine Information Statement -

Find a Location

Availability varies by state. Call your Local Lewis Pharmacy for availability and possible limitations.

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