Men C vaccine

The Men C vaccine protects against infection by meningococcal group C bacteria, which can cause two very serious illnesses, meningitis and septicaemia.

Who is affected by meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease can affect all age groups, but the rates of disease are highest in children under five years of age, with the peak in babies under one year of age. There's a second peak in cases in young people aged between 15 and 19. The disease tends to strike in winter.

Which children should have the Men C vaccine?

Babies are routinely offered the Men C vaccine  as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme at 3 months of age.

A second dose of Men C is offered at 12 months in a combined vaccine with Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).  Read more about the Hib/Men C booster given at 12 months.

Teenagers and first-time university students are offered Men C vaccination in a combined Men ACWY vaccine. Read more about the Men ACWY vaccine.

About the Men C vaccine

The Men C vaccine is made using part of the surface of the bacteria, but you cannot get meningitis from the vaccine.

In the UK, your baby at 3 months of age will receive their first Men C vaccine called one of two brand names- either Neisvac C or Menjugate. 

Read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Menjugate.

The Hib/Men C booster given at 12 months has the brand name Menitorix. Read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Menitorix.

How safe is the Men C vaccine?

The Men C vaccine has an excellent safety record. The most common reactions tend to be minor and very temporary. They include swelling, redness and pain around the injection site, fever, and vomiting.

Read more about the possible side effects of the Men C vaccine.

How effective is the Men C vaccine?

The Men C vaccine  works very well and has slashed the levels of Men C disease. Since the Men C vaccine was introduced into the NHS's national childhood vaccination programme in 1999, the disease has been virtually eliminated in the UK. Nowadays, there are just a handful of Men C cases each year, mainly in older, unvaccinated adults.

Other types of meningitis vaccines

There are two other vaccines against the other common strains of meningococcal disease  the Men ACWY vaccine (against meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y) which is recommended for teenagers and students and the Men B vaccine (against meningococcal group B) for babies.

Read the answers to parents' common questions about the Men C vaccine.

Meningitis real story

Tracey Chambers talks about the effects of meningitis on her daughter Courteney. Meningitis is an infection that can lead to serious damage to the nerves and brain. If you think your child has symptoms of meningitis, it is vital to seek immediate medical attention.

Media last reviewed: 08/07/2015

Next review due: 08/07/2017

Page last reviewed: 20/05/2014

Next review due: 20/05/2016


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