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Meningococcal Vaccine For Children


The meningococcal vaccine is an injection given to protect your child from certain types of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by meningococci bacteria. The infection may cause serious disease, such as meningitis. Meningitis causes swelling of the fluid and lining that covers your child's brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal disease is spread from person to person through the air. The vaccine begins to protect your child 1 to 2 weeks after he gets it and may protect him for 3 to 5 years.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child's mouth and throat are swollen.
  • Your child is wheezing or has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has chest pain or says his heart is beating fast.
  • Your child faints.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child's face is red or swollen.
  • Your child has hives that spread over his body.
  • Your child says he feels weak or dizzy.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
  • You have questions or concerns about the meningococcal vaccine.

Apply a warm compress

to the injection area as directed to decrease pain and swelling.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.