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meningococcal group B vaccine

Pronunciation: me NIN je KOK al group B vax EEN

Brand: Bexsero, Trumenba

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine?

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

What is meningococcal group B vaccine?

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can infect the spinal cord and brain, causing meningitis that can be fatal or 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 is usually passed through close contact with an infected person, especially through kissing, or sharing a drinking glass or eating utensil.

Meningococcal group B vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by serogroup B meningococcal bacteria. This vaccine contains four common strains of group B meningococcal bacteria.

This vaccine helps your body develop immunity to meningitis, but will not treat an active infection you already have.

Meningococcal group B vaccine is for use in children and young adults who are 10 to 25 years old. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that the best time to get this vaccine is between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.

Like any vaccine, the meningococcal group B vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine?

You should not receive this vaccine if you've ever had an allergic reaction to meningococcal group B vaccine.

This vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all if you have:

  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a severe illness with a fever or any type of infection; or
  • a weak immune system caused by disease or by using certain medicine (this vaccine may not be as effective if you are immunosuppressed).

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold.

Your doctor should determine whether you need this vaccine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle.

Meningococcal group B vaccine is recommended if:

  • you've been exposed to an outbreak of meningococcal disease;
  • you work in a laboratory and are exposed to meningococcal bacteria;
  • you have a medical problem affecting your spleen, or your spleen has been removed;
  • you use a medicine called eculizumab (Soliris); or
  • you have an immune system disorder called "persistent complement component deficiency."

Meningococcal group B vaccine is given in a series of 2 or 3 shots. Booster shots are given at 1, 2, or 6 months after the first shot.

Your booster schedule may be different. Follow the guidelines provided by your doctor or local health department.

Be sure to receive all recommended doses of this vaccine or you may not be fully protected against disease.

There are other types of meningococcal vaccine available. When you receive a booster dose, make sure you are receiving a vaccine for meningococcal serogroup B and not for serogroups A, C, W, or Y.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your vaccination provider if you miss a booster dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine?

Follow your vaccination provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of this vaccine?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Keep track of all side effects you have. If you need a booster dose, you will need to tell the vaccination provider if the previous shot caused any side effects.

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Becoming infected with meningococcal disease and developing meningitis is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. Any vaccine may cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is low.

You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • feeling tired;
  • muscle or joint pain;
  • nausea, diarrhea; or
  • pain, redness, swelling, or a hard lump where the shot was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

What other drugs will affect this vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor about all other vaccines you recently received.

Other drugs may affect meningococcal group B vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your vaccination provider, pharmacist, or doctor can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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