Quick answers to frequent meningococcal vaccine questions
- Which vaccines provide the best protection against meningococcal disease?
⇒ For best protection against meningococcal disease in New Zealand, separate vaccinations against groups A, C, Y and W disease and group B disease are available. Based on disease cases in 2018 where the meningococcal group was identified, the A, C, Y and W vaccines covered around 52% of disease and the group B vaccine around 45% of disease.
⇒ The quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines Menactra® and Nimenrix® protect against meningococcal groups A, C, Y and W. The recombinant meningococcal vaccine Bexsero® protects against meningococcal group B.
⇒ These vaccines are available for purchase by people with an increased risk of exposure to meningococcal bacteria or risk of invasive disease. Menactra is recommended and funded for children from 2 years of age and adults with a condition listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- Should we recommend an A, C, Y and W vaccine over a B vaccine, or vice versa?
Health professionals are not advised to recommend an A, C, Y and W vaccine over a B vaccine or vice versa, a B vaccine over an A, C, Y and W vaccine. It is not possible for health professionals to accurately predict who will get meningococcal disease. Nor is it possible to predict which meningococcal group could cause disease in any one person.
- Can Menactra or Nimenrix (groups A, C, Y and W) be given at the same visit as Bexsero (group B)?
Yes. Menactra or Nimenrix and Bexsero can be administered at the same visit using different sites.
- Is a minimum interval required between administration Menactra or Nimenrix and Bexsero?
No. When Menactra or Nimenrix and Bexsero are not coadministered, no minimum interval is required before administration of the subsequent vaccine.
- Is a minimum interval required between administration of Bexsero, Menactra or Nimenrix and any other vaccine?
Menactra** or Nimenrix and Bexsero can be administered at the same visit as any other vaccine or any interval before/after any other vaccine.
**except when Menactra and Prevenar® 13 are being administered, a minimum interval of 4 weeks is required between administration of these two vaccines.
- Can a combination of Menactra and Nimenrix be used to deliver a primary course of meningococcal A, C, Y and W vaccines in children aged under 24 months?
Yes. Menactra is approved for use as a two dose vaccine course in children aged 9–23 months (inclusively). A child in this age group who receives one dose of Menactra can recieve either Menactra or Nimenrix a minimum of three months later to complete their primary vaccine course.
- Is a minimum interval required between administration of NeisVac-C® (meningococcal C only vaccine) and Menactra or Nimenrix?
No minimum interval is required between administration of NeisVac-C and administration of a subsequent Menactra or Nimenrix. However, when Menactra is administered in place of the second NeisVac-C dose in children aged under 12 months a minimum interval of 8 weeks between the first NeisVac-C and administration of Menactra could be considered. In this situation, a second Menactra administered 3 months later would still be recommended to complete the primary vaccine doses for the meningococcal A, Y and W antigens.
- Can we give less doses of Bexsero if a person has a history of MeNZB vaccination?
No. Two doses of Bexsero are recommended for older children, adolescents and adults regardless of a history of MeNZB vaccination.
- Can a pregnant woman receive Bexsero, Menactra or Nimenrix?
Yes. There are no safety concerns around administration of Menactra, Nimenrix or Bexsero at any stage of pregnancy. These are non-live vaccines and the advice is consistent with the recommendation for a pregnant woman to receive non-live vaccines when she has an increased risk of disease, for example influenza vaccination is recommended at any stage of pregnancy because they have an increased risk of influenza disease and complications.
- Which meningococcal vaccine fact sheet should I print first?
Purchase of non-funded meningococcal vaccines
Ministry of Health Meningococcal vaccines: Eligibility, recommendations and supply