Meningitis B is a highly aggressive strain of bacterial meningitis which infects the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can be very serious and needs to be treated as a medical emergency. If the infection is left untreated, it can cause severe brain damage and blood poisoning (septicaemia). In some cases meningitis can be fatal. In the UK, Meningitis B is currently responsible for around 80% of cases of meningococcal meningitis.
A new vaccine Bexsero had been licensed in the UK, for those aged 2 months and over, to offer protection against Meningitis B. Bexsero is thought to provide up to 88% protection against Meningitis B, which should significantly reduce the number of cases of Meningitis.
Infants Aged 2 months – 5 months
Two doses – First dose given at 2 months of age, 2nd dose 2 months later. Booster- 1 dose between 12 and 13 months of age.
Infants Aged 6 months – 11 months
Two doses – First dose, 2nd dose 2 months later. Booster- 1 dose at 12-23 months of age; must be more than 2 months from the primary series.
Infants Aged 12 months – 23 months
Two doses – First dose, 2nd dose 2 months later. Booster- 1 dose with an interval of 12 months to 23 months from the primary series and booster dose.
Children Aged 2 – 10 years
Two doses – First dose, 2nd dose 2 months later. Booster- Need for booster doses not yet established.
Adolescents (from 11 years of age) and adults
Two doses – First dose, 2nd dose 1 month later. Booster- Need for booster doses not yet established.
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Fever is a common side effect following Bexsero vaccination. Paracetamol can reduce fever. We would recommend that you purchase some paracetamol liquid suitable for children prior to your appointment. Your nurse will recommend how this should be given.
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What To Expect After Vaccinations– Advice for Parents
No vaccine is 100% effective against meningitis. You should still be vigilant for symptoms which include:
It is important to note that not everyone will get all of the above symptoms.
If you notice any of the symptoms of meningitis, particularly in young children, seek medical help immediately