Serogroup B Meningococcal (MenB) Vaccine: Vaccines to Prevent Meningococcal Disease


Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It can lead to infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord called meningitis and infections of the blood.

December 10, 2017

It is important that children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time.  Vaccines also protect teenagers and adults to keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis.  It can lead to infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord called meningitis and infections of the blood. There are at least 12 types of N. meningitidis, called serogroups. Most meningococcal disease are caused by serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y . It can spread from person to person through close contact such as coughing or kissing or lengthy contact, especially among people living in the same household.

Certain people who are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease includes:

  • Infants younger than one year old
  • Adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old
  • People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system
  • Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitidis
  • People at risk because of an outbreak in their community
Even after the treatment, meningococcal disease can lead to  hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage, amputations, nervous system problems, or severe scars from skin grafts. It can even cause death.
Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines can help prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B.

Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccines:

Bexsero and Trumenba are two serogroup B meningococcal vaccines have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These vaccines are recommended routinely for children of age 10 years or older who are at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal infections. These risk include:
  • If there is a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak
  • Anyone with a rare immune system condition called persistent complement component deficiency
  • Anyone taking a drug called eculizumab, also called Soliris
  • Anyone whose spleen is damaged or has been removed
  • Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitidis
These vaccines may also be given to anyone aged 16 through 23 years to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. The preferred ages for vaccination are 16 through 18 years. More than one dose of a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine is required for best protection. The same vaccine must be used for all doses. Speak to your health care provider about the number and timing of doses.

You should not get this vaccine if:

  • you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a previous dose of serogroup B meningococcal  vaccine, or if you have a severe allergy to any component of this vaccine. Your provider can tell you about the component of the vaccine.
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding
you are moderately or severely ill. You should probably wait until you recover.

Risks from Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine:

There are chances of side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Serious reactions are also possible but are rare.
Some of the mild Problems following Serogroup B Meningococcal vaccine include:
  •     Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  •     Tiredness or fatigue
  •     Headache
  •     Muscle or joint pain
  •     Fever or chills
  •     Nausea or diarrhea
These reactions can last up to 3 to 7 days.

Problems that could happen after any vaccine:

  • Sometimes people faint after vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting. If you feel dizzy, have vision changes or ringing in the ears, speak to your doctor.
  • In some cases severe pain in the shoulder and difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given could happen.
  • A severe allergic reaction would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
  • There is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death. The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. You can get all the information from Vaccine Safety site.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes , call 9-1-1 or find the nearest hospital.
The reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) through the VAERS website or by calling 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
If you are injured by a vaccine, you can file a claim in  National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website to get the compensation.

Learn more about Vaccine:

Your doctor can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
You can call your local or state health department or can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by:
        Calling 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
        Visiting  CDC vaccines website