Meningococcal disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.
It can cause meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and sepsis, a serious blood infection.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine protects against four of the most common types: A, C, W, and Y.
Meningococcal disease can progress very quickly and can be difficult to diagnose, so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you or someone you know may have the disease.
There are several types of meningococcal bacteria, and they are classified by the specific types of polysaccharide antigens they contain. The meningococcal ACWY vaccine protects against four of the most common types: A, C, W, and Y. These types are responsible for the majority of meningococcal disease cases in the United States.
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is recommended for all adolescents and young adults between the ages of 11 and 18, as well as for university students living in dormitories. It is also recommended for people with certain medical conditions that increase the risk of meningococcal disease, such as a weakened immune system or a deficiency in the complement system (a part of the immune system).
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is usually given as a single injection in the arm or thigh. It is generally well tolerated, with the most common side effects being pain and redness at the injection site. Serious allergic reactions to the vaccine are rare.
It is important to get the meningococcal ACWY vaccine to protect yourself and others from meningococcal disease. If you are eligible for the vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider about getting it.
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