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What is Meningococcal Vaccine?
There are five FDA approved meningococcal vaccines in the United States targeting a total of five serotypes of the 13 for meningococcal disease. Three vaccines, Menectra (Sanofi Pasteur), Menveo (Novartis/GlaxoSmithKline) and MenQuadfi (Sanofi Pasteur) are conjugate vaccines that target serogroups A, C, Y and W-135 meningococcal bacteria while two vaccines, BEXSERO (Novartis/GlaxoSmithKline) and TRUMENBA (Wyeth/Pfizer) are recombinant vaccines that target serogroup B meningococcal bacteria. Menactra was discontinued by the manufacturer in 2022. Links to the available meningococcal vaccine products can be found on the meningococcal Quick Facts page.
Menactra is a meningococcal (groups A, C, Y and W-135) polysaccharide diphtheria toxoid conjugate vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur. Menactra is FDA approved for use in individuals nine months through 55 years of age. In young children between the ages of nine and 23 months, the vaccine is recommended as a two-dose series, administered 3 months apart. In persons between the age of two and 55 years, a single dose is recommended, however a booster dose can be given four years after the first dose in individuals between the ages of 15 and 55 years. Menactra vaccine ingredients include strains of A, C, Y and W-135 meningococcal bacteria, muller Hinton agar (beef extract, acid hydrolysate of casein, starch, agar) Watson Scherp media (casamino acid), formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate, modified culture medium, and sodium phosphate-buffered isotonic sodium chloride solution.
Menveo is a meningococcal (groups A, C, Y, and W-135) oligosaccharide diphtheria CRM197 conjugate vaccine manufactured by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (GlaxoSmithKline). Menveo is FDA approved for use in persons two months through 55 years of age. Children vaccinated at two months of age are recommended to receive four doses of the vaccine (2, 4, 6, and 12 months of age). In young children between the ages of nine and 23 months, the vaccine is recommended as a two-dose series, with the second dose administered in the second year of life and at least 3 months following the first dose. One dose of the vaccine is recommended for individuals between the ages of two and 55 years of age. Menveo vaccine ingredients include strains of serogroup A, C, Y and W-135 meningococcal bacteria, Franz Complete medium, formaldehyde, CY medium, yeast extracts, purified polysaccharides and CRM 197 protein.
MenQuadfi is a meningococcal (groups A, C, Y, and W-135) polysaccharide tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur. MenQuadfi is FDA approved for use in individuals two years of age and older to be administered as a single dose. For persons 15 years of age and older, it can be given as booster dose if at least four years have passed since the first dose was given, or as a single dose for persons who are considered at risk for meningococcal disease. MenQuadfi vaccine ingredients include strains of A, C, Y and W-135 meningococcal bacteria, muller Hinton agar, Watson Scherp media, carbonyldiimidazole, adipic acid dihydrazide, periodate, ammonium sulfate, tetanus toxoid protein carrier, sodium chloride, sodium acetate, and formaldehyde.
BEXSERO is a meningococcal group B recombinant vaccine manufactured by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (GlaxoSmithKline). BEXSERO is FDA approved for use in individuals aged 10 through 25 years. It is given in a series of two shots at least one month apart. BEXSERO has shown an immune response against three serogroup B strains as measured by serum bactericidal activity. The effectiveness of the vaccine against diverse serogroup B meningococcal disease has not been confirmed. BEXSERO vaccine ingredients include strains of the meningococcal B bacteria, factor H binding protein, outer membrane vesicles, aluminum hydroxide, sodium chloride, histidine, sucrose, E. coli, deoxycholate and kanamycin.
TRUMENBA is a meningococcal group B recombinant vaccine manufactured by Wyeth (Pfizer) Pharmaceuticals. TRUMENBA is FDA approved for use in individuals aged 10 through 25 years and can be administered in both a two or three dose schedule. As a two-dose schedule, the two doses are given six months apart. However, if more than six months has elapsed between doses, a third dose should not be administered earlier than four months after the second dose. As a three-dose schedule, the second dose is given 1-2 months after the first dose and the third dose is given six months following the first dose. Both the effectiveness of a 2-dose schedule as well as the vaccine’s ability to offer any protection against the diverse serogroup B meningococcal strains have not been confirmed. TRUMENBA vaccine ingredients include strains of meningococcal B bacteria, E. coli, defined fermentation growth media, polysorbate 80, and aluminum phosphate.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that the first dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine targeting serogroups A, C, Y and W-135 (Menectra, Menveo or MenQuadfi) be administered at age 11-12 with a second booster dose given at the age of 16. ACIP also recommends that high risk children between 2 months and 10 years and high-risk adults be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Conditions considered to increase a person’s risk for meningococcal disease include HIV- infection, complement component deficiencies, functional or anatomical asplenia, travel to meningococcal disease endemic areas, the use of eculizumab (Soliris®) medication and exposure to Neisseria meningitides due to employment as a microbiologist. At times, populations may also be identified as high risk for the disease related to an outbreak of meningococcal serogroup A, C, Y or W-135 disease and may be recommended to receive a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
ACIP also states that adolescents may be vaccinated with meningococcal group B vaccine (BEXSERO or TRUMENBA) and that persons considering the vaccine are recommended to receive it between 16 and 18 years of age. Routine vaccination with meningococcal group B vaccine is recommended only for high risk individuals aged 10 and older with conditions that include functional or anatomical asplenia, complement component deficiencies, or for individuals taking eculizumab (Soliris®) medication. In the event of a meningococcal group B outbreak, populations may also be identified as high risk and recommended meningococcal group B vaccines. While the CDC recommends meningococcal serogroup B vaccines for high risk adults, meningococcal group B vaccines have not received FDA approved for use in persons over the age of 25. Additionally, TRUMENBA and BEXSERO vaccines are not interchangeable and the same vaccine brand must be used for all administered doses.
NVIC “Quick Facts” is not a substitute for becoming fully informed about Meningococcal disease, meningitis and the Meningococcal vaccine. NVIC recommends consumers read the more complete information following the "Quick Facts", as well as the vaccine manufacturer product information inserts, and speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child.