Ask the VEC: Two Meningococcal Vaccines

Published on in Parents PACK

Q: Is it necessary to have my teenager get both meningococcal vaccines?

A: Yes. The two vaccines protect against different types of meningococcus:

  • Meningococcus ACWY — This vaccine protects against four of the five strains that cause disease. Two doses are recommended — one between 11 and 13 years of age and a booster at 16 years of age.
  • Meningococcus B — This vaccine protects against the fifth type of meningococcus, called type B. This vaccine is recommended in either a two- or three-dose series given between 16 and 18 years of age.

Because meningococcal bacteria can cause sepsis (bloodstream infection), meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), or pneumonia, and can lead to death within hours, these vaccines are both important for your teens to receive.

Watch VEC Director Dr. Offit explain more about the need for two meningococcal vaccines in a News Brief video and find links to other VEC resources about meningococcus.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.