Meningococcal meningitis: available vaccines

To prevent meningococcal meningitis there are more vaccines that have different composition and are used on the basis of what are the characteristics of circulating serotypes in the various geographical areas.

Anti-meningococcal C vaccination was introduced in Italy in 2005; it can be given in two doses simultaneously with other commonly used pediatric vaccines, if carried out from two months to one year of age. For older children and adults, however, only one dose is sufficient.

Against serogroups A, C, W135 and Y, on the other hand, a tetravalent polysaccharide vaccine is available, able to guarantee active immunization against meningitis caused by these meningococci. So far, vaccination is recommended especially for travelers in countries where these serotypes circulate more frequently. Only one dose of the vaccine administered in the deltoid region is required, but after a period of 3-5 years a recall may be necessary to ensure optimal protection. This vaccine can be used after the second year of life.