Meningitis vaccination 

There are a number of vaccines that can prevent many types of viral and bacterial meningitis.

The vaccines available include:

Children should receive most of these vaccines as part of the NHS vaccination schedule. Speak to your GP if you're not sure whether your vaccinations are up-to-date.

Meningitis B vaccine

In 2013, a new meningitis B vaccine called Bexsero was approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

In March 2014, the government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), recommended routine use of the meningitis B vaccine in the UK.

The JCVI has said that the vaccine should be offered to babies at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. However, a number of issues, such as cost and supply, still need to be addressed, so it's likely to be a number of months before the vaccine is introduced.

Read more about the new meningitis B vaccine.

Meningitis W vaccine

Teenagers and university students are to be offered a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease. This is because cases of meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by Men W bacteria are rising, because of a particularly deadly strain.

From August 2015, all 17 and 18-year-olds in school year 13 and first-time university students up to the age of 25 will be offered the Men ACWY vaccine as part of the NHS vaccination programme. The Men ACWY vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia – meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.

Read more about the Men W vaccination.

Meningitis research

The Meningitis Research Foundation and Meningitis Now (formed when the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK merged) are charities that fund research into developing meningitis vaccines.

Read more about the research being carried out by the Meningitis Research Foundation and the Spencer Dayman Meningitis Research Programme.

Page last reviewed: 10/06/2014

Next review due: 10/06/2016