Meningitis can be caused by a number of different infections, so several vaccinations offer some protection against it.

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

Meningitis B vaccine

The meningitis B vaccine is a new vaccine that offers protection against meningococcal group B bacteria, which are a common cause of meningitis in young children in the UK.

The vaccine is recommended for babies aged eight weeks, followed by a second dose at 16 weeks, and a booster at one year.

Read more about the meningitis B vaccine.

5-in-1 vaccine

The 5-in-1 vaccine, also known as the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine, offers protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Hib are a type of bacteria that can cause meningitis.

The vaccine is given on three separate occasions, when babies are 8, 12 and 16 weeks old.

Read more about the 5-in-1 vaccine.

Pneumococcal vaccine

The pneumococcal vaccine offers protection against serious infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria, including meningitis.

Babies receive the pneumococcal vaccine as three separate injections, at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and one year old.

Read more about the pneumococcal vaccine.

Hib/Men C vaccine

The meningitis C vaccine offers protection against a type of bacteria - meningococcal group C bacteria - that can cause meningitis.

Babies are offered a combined Hib/Men C vaccine at one year of age.

Teenagers and first-time university students are also offered vaccination against meningococcal group C bacteria as part of the combined meningitis ACWY vaccine (see below).

MMR vaccine

The MMR vaccine offers protection against measlesmumps and rubella. Meningitis can sometimes occur as a complication of these infections.

The vaccine is usually given to babies at one year of age. They'll then have a second dose when they're three years and four months old.

Read more about the MMR vaccine.

Meningitis ACWY vaccine

The meningitis ACWY vaccines offers protection against four types of bacteria that can cause meningitis – meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y.

Young teenagers, sixth formers and "fresher" students going to university for the first time are advised to have the vaccination.

Read more about the meningitis ACWY vaccine.

Page last reviewed: 12/04/2016

Next review due: 01/04/2019