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Meningococcal Vaccine for Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
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 or she gets it. The vaccine may protect him or her for 3 to 5 years.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- Your child's mouth and throat are swollen.
- Your child is wheezing or has trouble breathing.
- Your child has chest pain or says his or her heart is beating fast.
- Your child faints.
Call your child's pediatrician if:
- Your child's face is red or swollen.
- Your child has hives that spread over his or her body.
- Your child says he or she feels weak or dizzy.
- 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.
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