Health Guide

Meningococcal vaccine (By injection)

Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (me-NINJ-oh-kok-kal pol-ee-SAK-a-ride VAX-een)

Prevents meningitis.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This vaccine may not be right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to a meningococcal vaccine or thimerosal.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give this vaccine to you. It is given as a shot under your skin or into a muscle.
  • If you are receiving the Bexsero® vaccine, it is very important that you receive 2 shots for the vaccine series. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for another appointment.
  • If you are receiving the Trumenba® vaccine, it is very important that you receive all 3 shots for the vaccine series. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for another appointment.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how the meningococcal vaccine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that weaken your immune system, such as cancer medicines, radiation treatment, or steroids.
  • Tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received, including a flu shot.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have any type of infection or an allergy to latex.
  • This vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, joint or muscle pain, nausea, tiredness, chills
  • Pain, itching, swelling, burning, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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