Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious disease that can cause significant illness, disability and death. Some people are at increased risk of meningococcal disease. Vaccination is strongly recommended for these people, but is not funded under the National Immunisation Program. No single vaccine protects against all serogroups. 3 vaccines protect against serogroups A, C, W and Y (MenACWY vaccines). 2 vaccines protect against serogroup B only (Men B vaccines). 2 vaccines protect against serogroup C only (MenC vaccine and Hib-MenC vaccine).
People with medical conditions that increase their risk of invasive meningococcal disease include those: with a complement deficiency, being treated with eculizumab, with functional or anatomical asplenia, with HIV, or who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant. These people are recommended to receive MenB and MenACWY vaccines. The number of doses depends on the vaccine brand and the person’s age when they start the vaccination course. They need booster doses of MenACWY if the risk is ongoing.
Laboratory workers who work with Neisseria meningitides are recommended to receive MenB (2 doses) and MenACWY (1 dose). They need booster doses of MenACWY if the risk is ongoing.
Travellers to areas where meningococcal disease is more common are recommended to receive MenACWY vaccine. The number of doses depends on the vaccine brand and the person’s age when they start the vaccination course. They need booster doses of MenACWY if the risk is ongoing.
Young adults living in close quarters (such as military recruits and people in student residences), and young adults who smoke, are recommended to receive MenB (2 doses) and MenACWY (1 dose). They do not need booster doses of MenACWY unless other risk factors arise.
See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for more details.
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Printed content may be out of date. For up to date information, always refer to the digital version: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/resources/publications/meningococcal-vaccination-for-people-in-a-special-risk-group.