Meningococcus (MCV4)

The disease

Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a bacteria. It is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2-18 years old. Meningitis is an infection of fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections. About 2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. 10-15% of these people die, in spite of treatment with antibiotics.

The vaccine

Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for all children at their routine 11 year health exam. It is also recommended for college freshmen living in a dorm.

Side effects

  • Soreness and swelling at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (very rare)

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