The meningococcal C conjugate vaccine protects against infection from one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type C. It is provided for free as part of BC's routine infant immunization program.
The vaccine is given as a series of two doses to infants at 2 and 12 months of age. Previously, a booster dose of meningococcal C conjugate vaccine was given in grade 6 as part of the school-based immunization program. However starting in September 2016, this booster dose of meningococcal C vaccine will be replaced with the meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine which will be offered for free as part of the school-based immunization program in grade nine.
For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and possible reactions, see HealthLinkBC File #23a Meningococcal C (Men-C) Conjugate Vaccine.
The meningococcal quadrivalent vaccines protect against infection from four types of meningococcal bacteria: types A, C, Y and W-135. These vaccines are either conjugate or polysaccharide vaccines. Conjugate vaccines are used in BC because they provide longer lasting protection against disease.
Starting in September 2016, a meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine will be offered for free to all grade nine students. This vaccine replaces the meningococcal C conjugate vaccine that was offered in grade six and will provide protection against four strains of meningococcal bacteria: types A, C, Y and W-135.
The vaccine is also given to:
- persons with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of infection from meningococcal bacteria.
- close contacts of a person with meningococcal A, Y, or W-135 disease, or those who are at risk of infection with these types of meningococcal bacteria during an outbreak (which rarely happens).
For more information regarding eligiblity, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Meningococcal Vaccines.
For more information about the meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine and program please refer to the following resources:
The Men-B vaccine protects against infection by one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type B. This vaccine is not part of the publicly funded routine schedule of immunizations in B.C. However it is provided free to those 2 months of age and older who have been in close contact with a case of meningococcal B disease.
The Men-B vaccine is recommended, but not provided free, for those who are at risk of meningococcal B infection due to certain medical conditions including:
- no spleen or a spleen that is not working properly;
- immune system disorders including complement, properdin, factor D deficiencies, or primary antibody deficiency.
The vaccine is also recommended, but not provided free for:
- laboratory workers routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria;
- military personnel;
- those traveling to an area where the risk of meningococcal B disease is high.
The vaccine is given by injection as a series of 2, 3 or 4 doses depending upon the age at which the immunization series is started.
People who want to be protected against meningococcal B disease may purchase the vaccine at some travel clinics and pharmacies. For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and possible reactions, see HealthLinkBC File #23c Meningococcal B (Men-B) Vaccine.