Meningitis vaccine

The meningitis vaccine, known as Meningitis ACWY, can effectively protect you from meningococcal disease. This is a type of meningitis that is caused by bacteria. Meningitis vaccine side effects are usually mild, and the vaccine lasts five years for most people. Some countries require travellers to submit a meningitis vaccination certificate before they are allowed to enter. It is therefore a good idea to check if you need the meningitis vaccine before you leave for your trip.

Receive before arrival

Min. 10 days

Under special circumstances, you can have the vaccine less than 10 days before arrival. Book a free phone consultation for further information.
Protection
5 years
Certificate
Awaiting data source provider
Doses
1
Price
£50 per dose
Related diseases
Based on a standard programme for adults. Read more

01.Primary UK vaccination course for meningitis

In the UK, most people are given vaccines against meningitis when they are young.

However, if you are travelling to an area where there is a higher risk of catching bacterial meningitis, this existing protection may not be sufficient, and you may need to receive a booster of the meningitis vaccine.

If you have had no meningitis vaccinations, you will need to receive a full course.

If you are unsure which vaccinations you have received, speak to one of our prescribing nurses, who will be able to advise you.

02.How long does the meningitis vaccine last

The meningitis vaccine lasts five years for most people.

You only need to get your meningitis vaccine a day before you travel as you will only require one dose to be fully protected.

Further meningitis vaccine boosters are available if you need to continue your protection. The booster meningitis jab provides protection for an additional five years.

03.Side effects of the meningitis vaccine

Like all medicines and vaccines, the meningitis injection can cause side effects, but many people do not experience any at all.

If you do experience meningitis vaccine side effects, they are very unlikely to be serious.

Side effects of the meningitis vaccine can include:

  • fatigue

  • drowsiness

  • irritability

  • headache

  • nausea

  • diarrhoea

  • appetite loss

  • fever

  • pain, redness and swelling at the injection site

  • reactions at the injection site such as a hard lump

If you experience dizziness or drowsiness after the meningitis vaccine, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you feel better.

If your meningitis vaccine side effects do not improve, or they become worse, you should talk to your doctor.

04.Who should get the meningitis vaccine

In general, the meningitis vaccine is recommended to people travelling to a destination in a risk area.

It is especially recommended to people who are at higher risk of getting infected with meningitis. This includes:

  • people who are travelling in risk areas during dry seasons

  • people who have close contact with an infected person

  • people who are attending mass gatherings, such as in Mecca

  • babies, young children, teenagers and elderly people

Moreover, some countries require you to show a meningitis vaccination certificate upon entry in certain situations, and you will therefore also need the vaccine in this case.

However, the meningitis vaccine may cause problems for some people. This includes people who are:

  • allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine

  • currently unwell with a fever

  • diagnosed with a weakened immune system

  • diagnosed with a bleeding disorder

  • pregnant or breastfeeding

  • planning to have a baby

If you belong to any of these groups or you are unsure whether you should get the meningitis vaccine, you can book a free telephone consultation with one of our prescribing nurses for a personal assessment.

Children less than one-year-old should not receive the meningitis vaccine.

05.Cost of the meningitis vaccine

If you may be at risk of meningitis, it is recommended that you check whether you need the vaccine, as the disease can be fatal. For the cost of the meningitis vaccine, see below.

Per Dose
£50 per dose
Consultation
Free
Related diseases
Content reviewed by

Anne Marie Major, Independent Nurse Prescriber
June 25, 2019