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Meningococcal vaccine

Schedule your vaccine today.

Vaccines offered at Walgreens vary by state, age and health conditions. Talk to your local pharmacist about availability.

What is meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis is a rare but serious infection of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by meningococcal disease, a serious bacterial illness. Meningococcal disease is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis and bloodstream infections in the United States.

Symptoms of meningitis can include fever, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, purple-spotted rash, a drop in blood pressure, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Meningococcal disease is contagious and is commonly spread through close contact, like coughing, kissing or living in the same household. Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but those at highest risk are infants, people with weakened immune systems, college freshmen living in dorms and teenagers ages 16–23.

Meningitis is potentially fatal. Even with treatment, 10–15% of infected people are at risk of death. As many as 20% of people who survive the infection may lose a limb, become deaf or develop serious long-term medical conditions such as nervous system problems and brain damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Vaccines can help prevent meningococcal disease. There are 3 types of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States:
    • Meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccines Menveo® and MenQuadfi®
    • Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines Bexsero® and Trumenba®
    • Pentavalent (MenABCWY) vaccine Penbraya®

    MenACWY vaccination is recommended for:

    • All children ages 11–12, with a booster dose at 16 years.
    • Children and adults at increased risk for meningococcal disease

    MenB vaccination is recommended for:

    • Teens and young adults ages 16–23 (preferred age 16-18 years)
    • People 10 years or older at increased risk for meningococcal disease

    MenABCWY vaccination is recommended as an option for:

    • People 10 years or older who are getting MenACWY and MenB vaccines at the same visit

    To learn more about meningococcal vaccines from the CDC, visit the CDC website or download the following documents:

    Meningococcal ACWY vaccine (PDF) ›

    Meningococcal B vaccine (PDF) ›

  • The CDC recommends meningococcal vaccination for children and adults who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease including:
    • Infants younger than 12 months old, young adults ages 16–23 and older adults ages 65+
    • People with weakened immune systems due to medical conditions such as persistent complement deficiencies, complement inhibitor use, anatomic or functional asplenia, including sickle cell disease and HIV.
    • Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of Neisseria meningitidis, the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease
    • People who live in shared living facilities, like college dorms or military barracks
    • People at risk because of an outbreak in their community
    • People who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a previous dose of a meningococcal vaccine
    • People who have a severe allergy to any part of the vaccine — ask your healthcare provider about any of the ingredients

    Because of age or health conditions, some people should not get certain vaccines or should wait before getting them. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

  • Mild-to-moderate side effects:
    • Soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site
    • Fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, joint pain, chills and drowsiness

    There is a rare risk of severe reactions including severe allergic reactions or other serious injury.

    Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease pain and reduce fever. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any unexpected or worsening reactions after receiving a vaccine.

If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines and Preventable Diseases. Meningococcal Vaccination. Accessed 01/22/2024

Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation, 2015.

Meningococcal ACWY Vaccines (MenACWY and MPSV4). What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). August 1, 2019. Accessed March 2020.

Penbraya [package insert]. New York, NY; Pfizer Inc. November 2023

Serogroup B Meningococcal (MenB). What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). August 15, 2019. Accessed March 2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease. Risk Factors. Accessed 02/06/2024

This publication should be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this publication.