Drug information of meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine

meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine

Drug group: Vaccines

Meningococcal disease is a serious infection caused by a bacteria. Meningococcal bacteria can infect the spinal cord and brain, causing meningitis that can be fatal. Meningococcal disease can also lead to permanent and disabling medical problems.

Meningococcal disease can spread from one person to another through small droplets of saliva that are expelled into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The bacteria can also be passed through contact with objects the infected person has touched, such as a door handle or other surface. The bacteria can also be passed through kissing, or sharing a drinking glass or eating utensil with an infected person.

Meningococcal disease is more likely to occur in babies younger than 1 year, in young people ages 16 to 23 years, in anyone with a weak immune system, and in anyone exposed to an outbreak of the disease.

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by meningococcal bacteria. The vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes your body to develop immunity to the disease. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine contains four of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria (serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135).

This vaccine will not treat an active meningococcal infection that has already developed in the body.

The Menactra brand of this vaccine is for use in children and adults between the ages of 9 months and 55 years old. Menveo is for children and adults between the ages of 2 months and 55 years old.

Like any vaccine, meningococcal conjugate vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Mechanism of effect

Induces immunity against meningococcal disease via the formation of bactericidal antibodies directed toward the polysaccharide capsular components of Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y and W-135

Drug indications

Meningococcal disease prevention: Active immunization of infants and children (≥2 months of age [Menveo]; ≥9 months of age [Menactra]) and persons ≤55 years of age against invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135

Preexposure Vaccination Against Meningococcal Infection in High-risk Groups


Usual Adult Dose for Meningococcal Meningitis Prophylaxis
 mL intramuscularly once
Usual Pediatric Dose for Meningococcal Meningitis Prophylaxis

years or older
 mL intramuscularly once

Drug contraindications

Severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to any of the ingredients or to other CRM197-, diphtheria toxoid-, or meningococcal-containing vaccine

Side effects

Actual percentages may vary by product and age group. Adverse reactions occur with children, adolescents, and adults unless otherwise specified
Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, change in appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
Local: Pain at injection site, tenderness at injection site, erythema at injection site, induration at injection site, swelling at injection site
Nervous system: Pain, irritability, drowsiness, headache, excessive crying, fatigue, malaise
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Myalgia, arthralgia
Miscellaneous: Crying, fever
 to 10%
Dermatologic: Skin rash
Nervous system: Chills
, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Accidental injury, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, anaphylaxis, angioedema, apnea (premature infants), appendicitis, auditory impairment, Bell palsy, blepharoptosis, cellulitis at injection site, Cushing syndrome, dehydration, dizziness, dyspnea, equilibrium disturbance, erythema of skin, exfoliation of skin, facial nerve paralysis, falling, febrile seizures, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal disease (Vitello-intestinal duct remnant), Guillain-Barre syndrome, herniated disc, herpes zoster infection, hypersensitivity reaction, hypotension, increased serum alanine aminotransferase, inflammation, inguinal hernia, injection site pruritus, Kawasaki syndrome, lymphadenopathy, oropharyngeal pain, ostealgia, otalgia, paresthesia, pelvic inflammatory disease, pneumonia, pruritus, seizure, sepsis, staphylococcal infection, suicidal tendencies, swelling, swelling of injected limb, syncope, transverse myelitis, upper airway swelling, urticaria, vasopressor syncope, vertigo, vestibular disturbance, viral hepatitis, wheezing

Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine, Fingolimod, Immunosuppressants, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (13-Valent), Siponimod,


Vaccine administration that is too high on the upper arm may cause shoulder injury (eg, shoulder bursitis, tendinitis) resulting in shoulder pain and reduced range of motion following injection. Use proper injection technique for vaccines administered in the deltoid muscle (eg, injecting in the central, thickest part of the muscle) to reduce the risk of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration

Syncope has been reported with use of injectable vaccines and may result in serious secondary injury (eg, skull fracture, cerebral hemorrhage); typically reported in adolescents and young adults and within 15 minutes after vaccination. Procedures should be in place to avoid injuries from falling and to restore cerebral perfusion if syncope occurs 

Use with caution in patients with a history of bleeding disorders (including thrombocytopenia); bleeding/hematoma may occur from IM administration; if the patient receives antihemophilia or other similar therapy, IM injection can be scheduled shortly after such therapy is administered

Not to be used to treat meningococcal infections or to provide immunity against N. meningitidis serogroup B or diphtheria

Points of recommendation

If you have any of these other conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:
a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome
a history of premature birth
any condition that weakens your immune system (such as HIV, AIDS, or cancer)
a condition for which you are receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine

The Menactra brand of this vaccine should not be given to anyone younger than 9 months or older than 55 years of age. The Menveo brand should not be given to anyone younger than 2 months or older than 65 years of age

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended if:
you have been exposed to an outbreak of meningococcal disease
you are in the military
you work in a laboratory and are exposed to meningococcal bacteria
you live in a dormitory or other group housing
you live in or travel to an area where meningococcal disease is common
you have a medical problem affecting your spleen, or your spleen has been removed
you have HIV
you use a medicine called eculizumab (Soliris)
you have an immune system disorder called "persistent complement component deficiency."

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is usually given only once to adults and children who are 2 years and older. Younger children will need to receive 2 to 4 doses. You may need a booster dose if you have a high risk of meningococcal infection and it has been at least 4 years since you last received this vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all teens ages 11 to 12 years be vaccinated with a single dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine. A booster dose should be given at age 16 for continued protection when teens are at highest risk of meningococcal disease

Menactra: Store between 2°C to 8°C (35°F to 46°F); do not freeze. Discard product exposed to freezing.
Menveo: Prior to reconstitution, store between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F); do not freeze. Protect from light. Use immediately after reconstitution but may be stored at 2°C to 25°C (36°F to 77°F) for up to 8 hours; do not freeze. Discard product exposed to freezing

Pregnancy level


Pregnancy Category: C

Breast feeding warning

 use caution

Related drugs

Meningococcal Vaccines

Drug forms

Menactra, Menveo

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