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Vaccination can prevent certain types of meningitis. In the UK, vaccinations have been very successful and have saved thousands of lives, as well as protecting the people who receive them, they also help protect the wider community.
As the number of people who are vaccinated increases, the risk of the bacteria spreading to unvaccinated people is reduced. This is known as herd protection.
However, there are still types of meningitis that can’t be prevented by current vaccines and no single vaccine alone can prevent all types of meningitis.
The NHS UK vaccination programme
|2 months||Meningitis B (first dose) – protects against meningococcal group B disease
Pneumococcal conjugate (first dose) – protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria
|4 months||Meningitis B (second dose)
Pneumococcal conjugate (second dose)
|12–13 months||Meningitis B (final dose)
Pneumococcal conjugate (final dose)
Meningitis C – protects against meningococcal group C disease
|14 years||Meningitis ACWY – protects against meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y|
|First-year university students (under 25 years)||Meningitis ACWY for anyone who did not receive the vaccine while at school|
|65 years and older||Pneumococcal polysaccharide – protects against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria|
|All ages of people in high-risk groups||Pneumococcal polysaccharide for those aged >2 years and increased risk (e.g. those with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes or no spleen)
Meningitis B for those in high-risk groups (e.g. with no spleen, splenic dysfunction or complement deficiency)
Author: Meningitis Now