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Meningococcal Vaccines use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed on June 2, 2016.

Meningococcal Vaccines Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several health professional organizations state that vaccines given to a nursing mother do not affect the safety of breastfeeding for mothers or infants and that breastfeeding is not a contraindication to meningococcal vaccine. Immunization of the mother during the third trimester of pregnancy markedly increases the amount of meningococcal antibodies in breastmilk.[1] Breastfed infants should be vaccinated according to the routine recommended schedules.[2][3][4]

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Limited data indicate that breastfeeding can enhance the response of the infant to certain vaccine antigens.[3][4][5]

Immunization of pregnant or lactating women with meningococcal vaccine increased the specific secretory IgA content of milk.[6][7]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


1. Maertens K, De Schutter S, Braeckman T et al. Breastfeeding after maternal immunisation during pregnancy: Providing immunological protection to the newborn: A review. Vaccine. 2014;32:1786-92. PMID: 24530929

2. Gruslin A, Steben M, Halperin S et al. Immunization in pregnancy: No. 220, December 2008. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009;105:187-91. PMID: 19367691

3. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, Kimberlin DW, Brady MT et al. Red Book: 2015 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 30th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. 2015.

4. General recommendations on immunization --- recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2011;60 (RR-2):1-64. PMID: 21293327

5. Pabst HF. Immunomodulation by breast-feeding. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1997;16:991-5. PMID: 9380478

6. Lakshman R, Seymour L, Akhtar S et al. Secretory antibody responses to quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine in lactating mothers. Clin Infect Dis. 2000;31(1):321. Abstract 629.

7. Shahid NS, Steinhoff MC, Roy E et al. Placental and breast transfer of antibodies after maternal immunization with polysaccharide meningiococcal vaccine: a randomized, controlled evaluation. Vaccine. 2002;20:2404-9. PMID: 12009297

Meningococcal Vaccines Identification

Substance Name

Meningococcal Vaccines

Drug Class


Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number



Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.