Meningococcal B Immunisation Program

The State Government Meningococcal B (MenB) Immunisation Program provides funded MenB (Bexsero®) vaccines to eligible children and young people who are residents of South Australia and have a Medicare card.

Ongoing programs 

  • The childhood program is offered to those aged 6 weeks to 12 months of age.
  • The school program is offered to students in Year 10.

Childhood program: 6 weeks to 12 months

  • Children commencing the vaccine schedule between 6 weeks and 12 months of age require 3 doses in total (2 primary doses and 1 booster dose).
  • Bexsero should be routinely administered at 6 weeks, 4 and 12 months of age. This aligns with the usual schedule points for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines.
  • Children who were born from 1 October 2017 are eligible under the ongoing Childhood Program which commenced on the 1 October 2018. These children can receive funded Bexsero vaccine for missed doses if they did not receive them at the recommended schedule points. Those commencing the vaccine schedule at 12 months of age or older require 2 doses in total with a minimum interval of 8 weeks between doses.
  • Bexsero can be safely administered with other NIP vaccines.

Fever (≥ 38.5°C) in young children aged less than 2 years is a common and expected adverse event following Bexsero administration. Paracetamol is recommended with every dose of Bexsero for those aged less than 2 years.

The 1st dose of paracetamol is recommended within 30-minutes prior to, or as soon as practicable, after vaccination. This is followed by two more doses of paracetamol given 6 hours apart, even if the child does not have a fever. Doses of paracetamol should be administered as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Refer to the Managing possible fever after meningococcal B vaccine administration (PDF 44KB).

From 1 July 2020 the Commonwealth Government included the meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero®) on to the National Immunisation Program for:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children less than two years of age; this will be given at the same ages as the current state funded South Australian program. See Aboriginal immunisation recommendations for further information.
  • People of any age with specific medical conditions as they are at increased risk of invasive meningococcal B disease. If aged less than 12 months of age, an extra dose of meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero®) is recommended and funded at 6 months of age for children in this category. Speak to your immunisation provider for further details. See medical at risk immunisation requirements for further information.

School program: students in year 10

  • Students in Year 10 will be offered the Bexsero vaccine as part of the school immunisation program.
    • Students who were in Year 10 in 2019 are eligible under the ongoing Year 10 School Immunisation Program, which commenced in February 2019. These students can receive funded meningococcal vaccine for missed doses if they did not receive them in 2019.
  • 2 doses with a minimum interval of 8 weeks between doses.
  • Bexsero can be safely administered with NIP vaccines.

Young Adult Catch-up Program

  • This program ended on 29 February 2020.
  • Young adults aged 17 to less than 21 years who started a course of Bexsero during the catch-up period can still complete the course with a funded vaccine.

Childhood Catch-up Program

  • This program ended on 31 December 2019.
  • Children aged over 12 months to less than four years who started a course of Bexsero during the catch-up period can still complete the course with a funded vaccine/s.

Further information for consumers

Information for parents regarding the Meningococcal B Immunisation Program is available in the Consumer – Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 196KB).

Information for health professionals

Childhood program administration principles and recommendations

  • Bexsero can be safely administered with other NIP vaccines.
  • If two injections are administered in the same injection site, ensure they are separated by 2.5cm.
  • All scheduled vaccines should be administered in one visit, if possible.
  • If all vaccines cannot be administered at one visit, prioritise the administration of vaccines contained on the NIP.
  • If all scheduled NIP vaccines cannot be given in one visit, prioritise the antigens not previously given, for
    example MMR at the 12 month schedule point.
  • If deferring some vaccines all outstanding vaccines can be given a minimum of 3 days later.
  • Prophylactic use of paracetamol is recommended with every dose of Bexsero for those less than 2 years of age.
  • Parents should be able to confidently manage fever post vaccination with the information provided and may require education on how to administer paracetamol.

Always check the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to check if any doses of a meningococcal B vaccine have already been administered.

Vaccines must only be reconstituted with the diluent supplied. Never mix separate vaccines together.

Vaccine ordering

To be eligible to receive funded Bexsero vaccine, immunisation service providers are required to demonstrate adequate vaccine storage, monitoring and cold chain management processes.

The SA Health Immunisation Section will assess this by providers completing an online survey. If you are an immunisation provider in South Australia and have not received an email providing the link to the survey, contact the Vaccine Distribution Centre on (08) 7425 7139.

  • If requirements are met - providers are notified by email and can commence ordering Bexsero vaccine.
  • If requirements are not met - providers are individually contacted regarding the steps required to gain access to Bexsero vaccine.

Reporting an AEFI

Reporting an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) is an essential part of ensuring ongoing vaccine safety monitoring. To report any AEFI which are serious (for example hospitalisation is required) or unexpected or unresolved or prolonged:

Available resources

The below resources have been developed to assist immunisation providers in the delivery of this program:

Further information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions for health professionals (PDF 361KB) - updated July 2020.

Men B Herd Immunity Study

Individuals who were in Year 10, 11 and 12 in 2017 and 2018 may have already had the meningococcal B vaccination through the Meningococcal B Vaccine Herd Immunity Study 'B Part of It'.

Check with the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) or with your 'B Part of it' Immunisation Provider to check immunisation history.

For more information visit 'B Part of it'.