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Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine Side Effects

Not all side effects for meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine: injectable, kit, powder for solution, powder for suspension, suspension

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common
  • Chills
Less common
  • Fever over 100 degrees F
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
Incidence not known
  • Cough
  • difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
  • unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

Some of the side effects that can occur with meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Difficulty with moving
  • headache
  • joint or muscle pain
  • nausea
  • redness, tenderness, soreness, or pain at the injection site
Less common
  • Hard lump at the injection site
Incidence not known
  • Blisters at or around the injection site

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine: subcutaneous powder for injection


The most common adverse events were injection site pain, headache, irritability, and diarrhea.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Injection site pain (48.1%), injection site redness (16%), injection site induration (11%), injection site tenderness
Common (1% to 10%): Injection site swelling, injection site hematoma
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site reaction
Rare (less than 0.1%): Severe local reactions
Postmarketing reports: Extensive limb swelling at the injection site (frequently associated with erythema, sometimes involving the adjacent joint or swelling of the entire injected limb)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (41.8%), drowsiness (11.2%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypoesthesia, dizziness
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Somnolence, neurological reactions
Postmarketing reports: Vasovagal syncope, paresthesia, Guillain-Barre syndrome[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (32.3%), malaise (22.3%), fever
Common (1% to 10%): Chills, febrile reactions (>38C)
Postmarketing reports: Asthenia, influenza-like symptoms[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Irritability (12.2%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Insomnia, crying[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (16%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myalgia, pain in extremity
Postmarketing reports: Musculoskeletal stiffness[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Appetite lost
Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia
Postmarketing reports: Decreased appetite[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting, nausea[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus
Rare (less than 0.1%): Urticaria, angioedema
Postmarketing reports: Angioneurotic edema[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Local axillary lymphadenopathy[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity (such as rash, urticaria, pruritus, dyspnea, angioedema), allergic reactions (including anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions)[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Upper respiratory tract illness
Rare (less than 0.1%): Wheeze[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: IgA nephropathy[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Menomune (meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine)." Sanofi Pasteur, Toronto, IA.

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