Meningococcal C Conjugate (Men-C) Vaccine
Get all vaccines on time.
Immunization has saved more lives in Canada in the last 50 years than any other health measure.
What is Men-C vaccine?
The Men-C vaccine protects against infection from one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type C. The vaccine is approved by Health Canada.
The Men-C vaccine is provided free as part of your child’s routine immunizations. Call your health care provider to make an appointment.
Who should get the Men-C vaccine?
The Men-C vaccine is given to infants as a series of 2 doses. The first is given at 2 months of age, and the second at 12 months. The vaccine is given at the same time as other childhood immunizations. A dose of the vaccine is also provided to all children in grade 6.
|Men-C Vaccine||Child’s Age at Immunization|
|1st dose||2 months|
|2nd dose||12 months|
|Pre-teen dose||10 to 12 years|
Adults born in 1988 or later who have never received the vaccine can also get a dose of the vaccine for free.
The Men-C vaccine is also given to those who have:
- no spleen, or a spleen that is not working properly;
- an immune system disorder such as complement, properdin and factor D deficiency, or primary antibody deficiency;
- had a pancreatic islet cell or solid organ transplant, or are waiting for one; or
- had a stem cell transplant.
The vaccine may also be given to people after close contact with someone who becomes ill from meningococcal bacteria type C.
It is important to keep a record of all immunizations received.
What are the benefits of the vaccine?
Vaccines that protect against meningococcal type C infection are the best way to protect your child against this serious and sometimes fatal disease.
When you get your child immunized, you help protect others as well.
What are the possible reactions after the vaccine?
Vaccines are very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get meningococcal disease. Common reactions to the vaccine may include soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Fever, drowsiness, crankiness, loss of appetite or mild headache may also occur within 24 hours after getting the vaccine. These reactions are mild and generally last 1 to 2 days.
For more information on Reye Syndrome, see HealthLinkBC File #84 Reye Syndrome.
It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is an extremely rare possibility of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. If this happens after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. This reaction can be treated, and occurs in less than 1 in a million people who get the vaccine.
It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.
Who should not get the Men-C vaccine?
Speak with your health care provider if your child has had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of meningococcal vaccine, to any component of the vaccine, or to latex.
There is no need to delay getting immunized because of a cold or other mild illness. However, if you have concerns speak with your health care provider.
What is Meningococcal C infection?
Meningococcal C infection is caused by bacteria called meningococcal type C. It can cause serious and life-threatening infections including meningitis, an infection of the lining that covers the brain, and septicemia, an infection of the blood. For every 100 children who get sick, up to 15 may die. Permanent complications of infection include brain damage and deafness.
Meningococcal infection is spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or close face-to-face contact. It can also be spread through saliva or spit. Babies and young children can become sick through sharing soothers, bottles or toys used by other children. Older children and adults can become sick through activities such as kissing, or sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, lipstick, water bottles, and mouth guards used for sports or mouthpieces of musical instruments.
Meningococcal type C disease is now rare in B.C. because of routine childhood immunization programs.
Mature Minor Consent
It is recommended that parents or guardians and their children discuss consent for immunization. Efforts are first made to seek parental/guardian or representative consent prior to immunization. However, children under the age of 19, who are able to understand the benefits and possible reactions for each vaccine and the risk of not getting immunized, can legally consent to or refuse immunizations.
For more information on immunizations, visit ImmunizeBC at www.immunizebc.ca.