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Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine - What You Need to Know

All content below is taken in its entirety from the CDC Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.html

CDC review information for Meningococcal ACWY VIS:

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1. Why get vaccinated?

Meningococcal ACWY vaccine can help protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y. A different meningococcal vaccine is available that can help protect against serogroup B.

Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and infections of the blood. Even when it is treated, meningococcal disease kills 10 to 15 infected people out of 100. And of those who survive, about 10 to 20 out of every 100 will suffer disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage, loss of limbs, nervous system problems, or severe scars from skin grafts.

Anyone can get meningococcal disease but certain people are at increased risk, including:

2. Meningococcal ACWY vaccine

Adolescents need 2 doses of a meningococcal ACWY vaccine:

In addition to routine vaccination for adolescents, meningococcal ACWY vaccine is also recommended for certain groups of people:

3. Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:

In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone meningococcal ACWY vaccination to a future visit.

Not much is known about the risks of this vaccine for a pregnant woman or breastfeeding mother. However, pregnancy or breastfeeding are not reasons to avoid meningococcal ACWY vaccination. A pregnant or breastfeeding woman should be vaccinated if otherwise indicated.

People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting meningococcal ACWY vaccine.

Your health care provider can give you more information.

4. Risks of a vaccine reaction

People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.

5. What if there is a serious problem?

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.

6. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines. Visit the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation or call 1-800-338-2382 to learn about the program and about filing a claim. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.

7. How can I learn more?

Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Meningococcal ACWY vaccine - what you need to know. Vaccine Information Statement (VIS). www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.html. Updated August 15, 2019. Accessed August 23, 2019.

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Review Date: 8/23/2019  

Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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