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

A new meningitis B vaccine is now being used as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

The Men B vaccine is recommended for babies aged two months, followed by a second dose at four months, and a booster at 12 months.

The vaccine will protect babies against the meningococcal group B bacteria, which is responsible for more than 90% of meningococcal infections in young children.

Read more about the meningitis B vaccine.

Meningitis W vaccine

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

Schoolchildren currently in school years 11 and 13 will be offered the Men ACWY vaccine before the end of the 2015/16 school year, most likely during the summer term. Younger children (school year nine or 10) will be offered the Men ACWY vaccine as part of the adolescent schools programme.

Students going to university or college for the first time, including overseas and mature students up to the age of 25, should contact their GP to have the Men ACWY vaccine, ideally before the start of the academic year or during the first few weeks.

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