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 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 8 weeks, followed by a second dose at 16 weeks and a booster at 1 year.
Hib are a type of bacteria that can cause meningitis.
The vaccine is given on 3 separate occasions, when babies are 8, 12 and 16 weeks old.
The pneumococcal vaccine offers protection against serious infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria, including meningitis.
Babies born on or after 1 January 2020 have the pneumococcal vaccine as 2 separate injections at 12 weeks with a booster given at 1 year of age. Babies born before this date will continue to be offered 3 doses, at 8 and 16 weeks and a booster at 1 year.
Hib/Men C vaccine
The meningitis C vaccine offers protection against a type of bacteria called meningococcal group C bacteria, which can cause meningitis.
Babies are offered a combined Hib/Men C vaccine at 1 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.
The vaccine is usually given to babies at 1 year of age. They'll then have a second dose when they're 3 years and 4 months old.
Meningitis ACWY vaccine
The meningitis ACWY vaccines offers protection against 4 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.
Page last reviewed: 08 March 2019
Next review due: 08 March 2022