Men B & Men ACWY Vaccines

Meningitis B & Meningitis ACWY Vaccines

In this short film from University of Oxford, experts and a mother whose child was disabled by Men B infection (=meningococcal B disease) talk about the Men B (meningitis B) vaccine.

What is Meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening infection. This is a term used to describe two major illnesses – meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

There are five main groups of meningococcal bacteria that commonly cause disease; A, B, C, W and Y.  Group B (Men B) is responsible for about 90% of meningococcal infections in the UK. In the past 20 years in the UK, between 500 and 1,700 people every year, mainly babies and young children, have suffered from Men B disease, with around 1 in 10 dying from the infection (see below chart) . Many of those who survive suffer terrible permanent disability, such as amputation, brain damage and epilepsy.

What is the Men B vaccine?

Meningitis and septicaemia caused by meningococcal group B bacteria can affect people of any age, but is most common in babies and young children. Men B vaccine was added to the NHS childhood immunisation programme in 1st September 2015.  This new programme made England the first country in the world to offer a national and publicly funded Men B vaccination programme.

Those born before 1 May 2015 are not eligible to receive the Men B vaccine as part of the routine immunisation schedule on the NHS.

Parents whose children are not eligible to receive this vaccine as part of the NHS national programme, can get their child to be immunised with the Men B vaccine privately.  

Men B vaccine is given to individuals from 2 months of age and older. There are no data on the use of this vaccine in adults above 50 years of age.

For more information see FAQs about the MenB vaccine from Meningitis Now.

What is the MenACWY vaccine?

The MenACWY vaccine was introduced in response to an increase in cases of invasive MenW disease in August 2015 as part of NHS routine immunisation schedule for everyone aged 14-18 years of age and first year university students under the age of 25.

Transmission of MenW has been seen across all age groups and across all regions in England indicating that the strain is now endemic.

The highest rates of carriage were observed in the adolescent population with evidence of sustained transmission, particularly within students attending universities.

Those at highest risk of complications are young children. For the  first time in the past decade, MenW related deaths have occurred in this age group.

NHS replaced the MenC vaccine routinely administered around 14 years with MenACWY vaccine in 2015. This is an outbreak control measure and will prevent carriage and transmission within the adolescent population, thus ensuring protection against MenW to all other age groups through herd immunity.

MenACWY vaccine is currently only offered on the NHS to those at 14 years of age and people 18 to 25 years of ago who have not received MenACWY or no MenC vaccines before.  MenACWY vaccine can be given privately to children from 6 weeks of age and adults.

In December 2016, one of the two MenACWY vaccines available in the UK approved to expand its age indication from “12 month of age and over” to “6 weeks of age and over”. This was an EU-wide approval based upon results from a study in which the effectiveness and safety of MenACWY vaccine was evaluated in over 1,000 healthy infants from six weeks of age. Based on clinical evidence, this vaccine was approved for administration in infants as a two dose primary series, with the first dose given from six weeks of age and with an interval of two months between doses, followed by a booster dose at 12 months.

For more information see FAQs about the Men ACWY vaccine from Meningitis Now.

Meningitis, Septicaemia and Men ACWY Vaccine: the facts

Does Men B vaccine provide cross protection against other meningococcal capsular groups, such as Men A, C, W and Y?

According to the latest guidance from Public Health England, studies to demonstrate protection from the Men B vaccine against other capsular strains remain on-going. Thus individuals requiring protection against ACWY should receive the ACWY vaccine and should not assume to be protected against these capsular groups even if they have received a complete course of Men B Vaccine.

Is the Men B vaccine safe?

The Men B vaccine was licensed by the European Medicines Agency in January 2013 and all vaccines are extensively tested for safety and effectiveness before being licensed. This vaccine has been through ten years of trials in the laboratory and among volunteers. Although the vaccine is not used routinely anywhere else in the world, over a million doses have been given in over 35 countries worldwide, with no safety concerns identified.

Many babies have no side effects at all after having the Men B vaccine, and in those that do, any side effects tend to be mild and short-lived. Read more about possible Men B vaccine side effects.

Will the Men B vaccine offer total protection against meningitis to my child?

There are many different Men B strains. This vaccine has been developed to offer protection against as many as possible. Once it has been in use for some time, it will be possible to calculate the coverage and continue with vaccine research to improve the protection it gives. Other vaccines exist to protect against other types of meningitis and septicaemia, however, there is no vaccine to protect against all types, so remaining vigilant is vital. Learn the signs and symptoms today.

Can the Men B vaccine actually cause meningitis?

No, the vaccine cannot cause meningitis.

Can the Men B vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines?

Yes, Men B vaccine can be given at the same time, or at any time before or after, as any other vaccines including MenACWY and chickenpox.

Scientific studies have shown that vaccines do not overload a child’s immune system.

  • We provide Men B vaccination (meningitis B) for children over 2 months of age and adults. 3 doses required for children 2-23 months of age and 2 doses for individuals 2 years of age and above. Cost: £115 per dose inclusive (i.e. there is no consultation fees).  See here the package leaflet: Information.

  • We also provide MenACWY vaccination (meningitis W) for children from 6 weeks and over as well as adults. Cost: £60 inclusive per dose (i.e. there is no consultation fees); see here the package leaflet: Information.

    The number of doses of MenACWY vaccine required are outlined below:

    Infants from the age of 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age (new license for use of MenACWY vaccine under age of one was authorised in Dec 2016): 2 injections given two months apart at e.g. 2 and 4 months of age (the first injection may be given from the age of 6 weeks).
    At 12 months of age, an additional injection (booster) will be given.

    Children above 1 year of age, adolescents and adults: One dose of vaccine should be administered.

To book an appointment call: 020 7435 7075

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