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Meningitis B

The Meningitis B vaccine is designed to protect against infection caused by the Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B bacteria, which is one of the major causes of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease can lead to serious illnesses such as meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

The Meningitis B vaccine is a relatively newer vaccine compared to the Meningitis ACWY vaccine. It was developed to provide protection against serogroup B, which was challenging to vaccinate against using traditional methods.

The Meningitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk groups and can be given to individuals who are not at increased risk of Meningitis ACWY. These high-risk groups may include:

  • Adolescents and Young Adults: Young people living in close quarters, such as college students living in dormitories, are at an increased risk of meningococcal disease, including serogroup B.
  • Outbreak Control: During outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease, vaccination campaigns may be initiated to help control the spread of the bacteria.
  • Individuals with Certain Medical Conditions: People with certain medical conditions or immunocompromising conditions may be at higher risk of meningococcal disease, including serogroup B, and may be recommended to receive the vaccine.
  • Travelers: Travelers to regions where serogroup B meningococcal disease is more common may consider vaccination before their trip.
Vaccination Price per dose Price per course (2 doses)
 Meningitis B  £125  £250


Preventing Meningitis B involves vaccination and taking certain precautions to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Vaccination: The most effective way to prevent Meningitis B is through vaccination.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Practicing good hygiene can help reduce the risk of contracting and spreading meningococcal bacteria. This includes frequent handwashing with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing and before eating.
  • Avoid Close Contact: Meningococcal bacteria are spread through respiratory and throat secretions (e.g., coughing, kissing, sharing eating utensils). Avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick or have been diagnosed with meningococcal disease can help reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes: If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of used tissues properly and wash your hands immediately.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle, including adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise, can help maintain a strong immune system, which may reduce the risk of infection and its severity.

  • Countries at risk

    Meningitis B can occur in any country, and no region is entirely free from the risk of meningococcal disease. The prevalence can vary over time and across different geographical areas.

    Certain regions have reported higher rates of Meningitis B, and outbreaks may occur in different parts of the world. Factors that contribute to the risk of Meningitis B in a country or region include population density, climate, living conditions, healthcare access, vaccination rates, and the circulation of the bacteria in the community.

    Meningococcal disease outbreaks, including those caused by serogroup B, have occurred in various countries and regions, including:

  • United States: The United States has experienced outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease, particularly among college (university) students and young adults living in close quarters.
  • Canada: Outbreaks of Meningitis B have occurred in Canada, with vaccination campaigns initiated in response to these outbreaks.
  • United Kingdom: The United Kingdom has seen cases of Meningitis B, and vaccination efforts have been undertaken to protect high-risk populations.
  • Brazil: Brazil has reported cases of Meningitis B, and vaccination has been implemented to reduce the impact of the disease.
  • Australia: Australia has seen cases of Meningitis B, and vaccination efforts have targeted high-risk groups.

    People traveling to regions with higher rates of meningococcal disease, including Meningitis B, especially during peak seasons, may be advised to receive the Meningitis B vaccine before their trip.

  • Sign and Symptoms

    The signs and symptoms of Meningitis B are similar to other types of meningococcal disease. It is important to recognise these symptoms as Meningitis B can progress rapidly and may lead to serious complications. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know experiences any of the following symptoms:

  • High Fever: Sudden onset of high fever, often accompanied by chills or severe shivering.
  • Severe Headache: Intense headache, which may be different from typical headaches experienced by the individual.
  • Stiff Neck: Stiffness in the neck and difficulty bending the neck forward due to inflammation of the meninges (the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord).
  • Photophobia: Sensitivity to light, which can worsen the headache and neck stiffness.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: These symptoms can be present, especially in younger children.
  • Altered Mental Status: Confusion, irritability, difficulty concentrating, or other changes in mental status.
  • Seizures: In some instances, seizures may occur.
  • Skin Rash: A specific rash called a petechial or purpuric rash may develop, which consists of small red or purple spots. This rash may not fade when pressed and can be an indicator of a severe form of meningococcal disease. If you notice this type of rash, seek immediate medical attention.

    It's important to note that not everyone with Meningitis B will display all of these symptoms. Some may experience a combination of these signs, while others may only experience a few. Additionally, the symptoms may progress rapidly, leading to life-threatening complications within hours.

    In infants and young children, the symptoms of Meningitis B may be less specific, and the condition can present with irritability, poor feeding, and a bulging fontanelle (the soft spot on the baby's head).

    Meningococcal disease is a medical emergency, and early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing serious complications and reducing the risk of long-term effects or death. If you suspect Meningitis B or encounter someone displaying symptoms suggestive of the disease, seek immediate medical attention and inform healthcare providers about the possibility of meningococcal disease, including Meningitis B.