Frequently Asked Questions for Consumers: Meningococcal B Program
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Meningococcal vaccines help protect against the meningococcal disease. Meningococcal can cause inflammation of the lining of the brain (meningitis) and/or septicaemia (a form of blood infection). There are 13 different types of meningococcal, and the different vaccines available provide protection against different types of meningococcal bacteria. The following vaccines protect you against the different strains of meningococcal:
On 1 October 2018, the State Government commenced providing funded (free) meningococcal B vaccines to eligible children, adolescents and young adults in South Australia, as they are at increased risk of developing meningococcal B infection. See the Meningococcal B Immunisation Program for more information.
From 1 July 2020, the Commonwealth Government included the meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero®) on to the National Immunisation Program for:
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Nimenrix®) is provided under the National Immunisation Program and is administered at 12 months of age for healthy children with no increased risk factors. The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is also offered through the School Immunisation Program in Year 10. Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years of age, who have not already received the vaccine in school, will be able to receive the vaccine through a GP based catch-up program.
From 1 July 2020, the Commonwealth Government included meningococcal ACWY vaccine on to the National Immunisation Program for people of all ages with some medical conditions as they are at increased risk of developing meningococcal ACWY infection. See Medical at risk immunisation requirements for further information.
Meningococcal vaccines may also be recommended, but not funded, for other groups. You will need to speak to your doctor for more information.
The meningococcal vaccines are given as an injection into the thigh if under 12 months of age, or the muscle of the upper arm from 12 months of age.
Like any medications, the meningococcal vaccines can have some minor and short lasting side effects.
Common effects may include:
Very rarely, a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Paracetamol is recommended before and following administration of the meningococcal B vaccine Bexsero® in children less than two years of age.
Any unexpected event following immunisation should be reported to SA Health.
Many of the common side effects can be reduced by:
To receive the vaccine contact your doctor, local council, community health centre or Aboriginal health centre to arrange an appointment.
For further information on immunisation providers, see the Immunisation services page.