Meningitis B vaccine also known as MenB vaccine is a vaccine administered to children to protect them against infections caused by meningococcal group B bacteria. Meningococcal disease can result in meningitis, which is the infection of the brain’s lining and the spinal cord. The disease is considered very serious, and can lead to disability, amputation, epilepsy, brain damage, hearing loss, and it can sometimes be fatal.
Although anyone can get meningitis, there are certain categories of people who are at a higher risk. These include:
- Young children who are below one year
- Young adults between the ages of 16 years and 23 years
- An outbreak in the community
- Children with a compromised immune system
Other than the MenB vaccine, there is also Meningococcal conjugate vaccine which helps in prevention of the four types of meningococcal bacteria that is type A, C, W and Y. This particular type of vaccine is also known as MenACWY and is normally given to babies as from the age of eight weeks, and at eleven to teen age.
MenB Vaccine Dosage
The meningococcal vaccine is given as part of King’s pediatric vaccination schedule. For your child to avail the vaccine, you will be sent an appointment with other routine vaccinations. The vaccine is administered as a single injection to babies at:
- Eight weeks after birth
- 16 weeks
- One year
Is MenB Vaccine Safe?
Like other vaccines administered to babies, the Meningitis B vaccine can have short-term and mild side effects. These can include:
- Developing fever within the first 24 hours of the injection
- An allergic reaction which is rare
- Redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site
However, your pediatrician may recommend an over-the-counter medication like liquid paracetamol to reduce the severity of these side-effects.
Symptoms of Meningitis B
Meningitis B is considered potentially fatal within 24 hours according to studies which show at least 1 person out of 10 infected with Meningitis, will succumb to it within the first 24 hours. Some of the common symptoms of Meningitis include:
- Stiff neck
- High fever
- Severe headache2
These symptoms, if they are as a result of meningococcal disease, they progress rapidly, and immediate medical care is recommended. However, most individuals recover from the disease. Some of those who recover from the disease may end up with disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, kidney damage, and amputation among others.
How Meningitis B Spreads
Meningococcal disease usually spreads by coming in brief contact with infected surfaces or persons. Additionally, living close to an individual infected with the disease can put one at risk. Other ways one can also be at risk of getting infected include:
- Kissing an infected person
- Being in close proximity when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Conversing with an infected person
- Sharing items like utensils, lipstick, cigarettes and any others which touch the person infected with the disease.
Meningitis is considered a serious medical emergency that is potentially deadly, hence the need for the Meningitis B vaccine to protect an individual from developing the disease. To book an appointment for your child’s MenB Vaccine, get in touch using the form below.
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