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Common name:

MenCCV, monovalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine

Protects against meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group C.



Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. At least 12 groups have been identified, including groups A, B, C, X, Y and W (previously called W-135). The pattern of disease caused by each group varies by time and country or geographical areas. In New Zealand over 2014–2017, meningococcal group B caused around two-thirds of meningococcal disease each year, group C almost one-third and groups Y or W the remaining few cases. However, in 2018 group B decreased as the cause of around half of cases. Group C also decreased significantly and disease caused by meningococcal groups Y and W increased to cause almost half the number of cases. Group W disease included cases caused by a very virulent sequence type of meningococcal group W (ST-11). Meningococcal group A rarely causes disease in NZ.

In New Zealand, conjugate vaccines protect against groups A, C, Y and W (Menactra® or Nimenrix®) or group C only (NeisVac-C®), and the multicomponent recombinant vaccine protects against group B only (Bexsero®). For best protection against all meningococcal disease in New Zealand, separate vaccinations against group B disease and groups A, C, Y and W disease are recommended.

The MeNZB™ vaccine used in New Zealand between 2004 and 2011 was designed to target a specific type of meningococcal group B bacteria that caused a prolonged epidemic here in New Zealand.

NeisVac-C is a meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningococcal group C only. The vaccine is funded for children aged under 2 years with a medical condition that increases their risk of invasive meningococcal disease AND is listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule. NeisVac-C is also available as a purchased vaccine through your family doctor.

Responses to vaccine

NeisVac-C (MenCCV)

Common responses

  • Mild pain, redness and swelling around injection site

In infants and children:

  • Mild fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Malaise / tiredness

In adults

  • Headache

Rare responses

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • ​Hives

As with any medicine, very rarely a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can occur following immunisation.


  • Borrow R and Findlow J. Prevention of meningococcal serogroup c disease by NeisVac-C. Expert Rev Vaccines 2009 8(3) 265-279 doi: 10.1586/14760584.8.3.265.
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. Notifiable diseases in New Zealand: Annual report 2016. Porirua: Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR); 2017. Report No.: FW17028.
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. New Zealand public health Surveillance report March 2018. Wellington: Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR); 2018. 
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. Invasive meningococcal disease report 3 April 2019. Porirua: Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR); 2019.
  • Ministry of Health. Immunisation Handbook 2017 2nd Edition. Ministry of Health: Wellington. Available from http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/immunisation-handbook-2017


In Depth

Other brands:

Meningococcal C only conjugate vaccine:

  • None

Meningococcal A, C, W, Y conjugate vaccines:

  • Menactra®
  • Nimenrix®

Meningococcal group B only recombinant vaccine

  • Bexsero®

Vaccine type: subunit conjugate

Schedule and administration

NeisVac-C® is funded for children aged under 2 years with a medical condition that increases their risk of meningococcal disease AND is listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule. The vaccine is available for purchase for children and adults with a medical condition that is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

    Special groups

    NeisVac-C is recommended and funded for children aged under 2 years:

    • One dose for a close contacts of meningococcal disease case
    • Two doses for individuals post-haematopoietic stem cell transplantation; or following immunosuppression due to steroid or other immunosuppressive therapy longer than 28 days
    • Up to three doses plus booster doses (as appropriate) for individuals pre- or post-splenectomy; pre- or post-solid organ transplantation; with functional asplenia; complement deficiency (acquired or inherited); or who are HIV-positive

    Meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended but not funded for individuals:

    • Who are laboratory workers regularly handling meningococcal cultures
    • Who are adolescents and young adults living in communal accommodation (e.g. in a hostel or at boarding school, in military accommodation, in correctional facilities or in other long-term institutions)

    Catch-up doses

    Not relevant

    Storage and preparation

    Store as per cold chain between 2°C to 8°C.

    NeisVac-C is presented as a semi-opaque white to off-white suspension in single dose syringe. Upon storage a white deposit and clear supernatant can be observed. The vaccine should be shaken thoroughly before us. After shaking, the vaccine should be a homogeneous semi-opaque white to off-white suspension.


    NeisVac-C can be administered at the same visit as other vaccines including all vaccines on the national immunisation schedule.

    NeisVac-C is for intramuscular use only, preferably in the vastus lateralis in infants and the deltoid region in older children, adolescent and adults. The vaccine must not be administered subcutaneously or intravenously.


    Infants and children aged 8 weeks to 11 months:

    • Two doses 8 weeks apart
    • Booster at 12 months of age, at least 8 weeks after 2nd dose

    Children aged 12 months to under 7 years:

    • One dose
    • If still at risk 2–3 years later – offer a booster dose

    Children aged 7 years or over and adults:

    • One dose
    • If still at risk 5 years later – offer a booster dose

    Vaccine safety

    More than 20 years of studies and safety monitoring have shown that the conjugate meningococcal vaccines have excellent safely profiles.

    NeisVac-C should not be given to:

    • Anyone with severe allergy (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of a meningococcal vaccine or a component of the vaccine
    • Administration of NeisVac-C should be postponed in individuals suffering from a fever over 38°C. The presence of a minor infection is not a reason to delay immunisation

    Specialist advice should be sought for the following groups:

    • Those with bleeding disorders, such as haemophilia. The vaccine should be administered in accordance with the haematologist’s instructions

    Vaccine effectiveness

    Protection against meningococcal disease is dependent on an individual having adequate existing circulating protection provided by antibodies because the bacteria cause disease more quickly than the immune system can generate new protection. Immunisation generates circulating antibodies. Over time the antibody levels decrease. The number and quality of antibodies and how long they last depend on what type of vaccine is used, the meningococcal group(s) covered by the vaccine, and the age of the person receiving the vaccine.

    As there are generally low numbers of meningococcal disease cases in countries such as Australia, England, Germany, New Zealand and the United States it is not possible to determine exactly how many cases of disease are prevented by vaccination and how long protection after vaccination lasts. Instead, the immune system response and antibody levels are used as an alternative measure of how well and how long meningococcal vaccines can protect from disease.

    Clinical studies have shown that 3–5 weeks after immunisation:


    • 12 months of age (after three doses of NeisVac-C at 2, 4 and 12 months of age): 100% had protective levels of circulating antibodies against group C
    • 12–18 months of age: After a single dose of NeisVac-C 89–100% had protective levels of circulating antibodies against group C


    • 13–17 years of age: After a single dose of NeisVac-C 100% had protective levels of circulating antibodies against group C


    • After a single dose of NeisVac-C 100% had protective levels of circulating antibodies against group C

    Good antibody persistence has been observed for adults however, a second dose in the second year of life is required to maintain protection in infants.


    Last updated: Jun 2019