Polysaccharide Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions | Side Effects

Polysaccharide Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions | Side Effects

  • Meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis), a gram-negative bacteria, is a common cause of meningitis and septicemia.
  • Outbreaks of meningococcal disease occur in persons living in close contact like college students living in dormitories and army recruits.
  • 13 serotypes of meningococci have been identified thus far; six of them (A, B, C, Y, W-135 and X) are believed to be the cause of virtually all human infections.

Vaccine Type

  • Polysaccharide Vaccine.

Available as

Conjugate Vaccines:

  • MenACWY: a quadrivalent vaccine against A,C,W, and Y serotypes
  • MenCY -TT: bivalent meningococcal vaccine against C and Y serotypes and H.influenzae type b.

Polysaccharide (unconjugated vaccines): MPSV4 – a quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine against A, C, W, and Y.

Serogroup B Vaccines: MenB – a monovalent vaccine against serotype B.



  • Routine vaccination for children 10 years or younger is not currently recommended.
  • Children aged 2 months – 10 years should be immunized with a conjugated vaccine if they are at increased risk of meningococcal infections like:
    Children with asplenia (functional or anatomic), complement pathway deficiencies, travelling to or residing in areas with high meningococcal prevalence, or if a meningococcal outbreak occur in the community.
    A 4-dose schedule (2, 4, 6, 12-15months) is recommended when vaccination is started at 2 months age. When started late, less doses may be required. See age-specific guidelines with your local health-authorities.

11-18 years:

  • Routine vaccination with conjugated quardivalent vaccine is recommended for teens and pre-teens.
  • First dose is given at 11 years of age, followed by a booster dose at the age of 16 years. Persons who receive their first dose at or after the age of 16 years do not need a booster dose.


  • Immunization with either MenACWY or MPSV4 is recommended for adults who have an underlying risk factor for meningococcal infection like: Asplenia (functional or anatomic), complement pathway deficiencies, travelling to or residing in a meningococcal prevalent area, microbiologist involved with handling of meningococci, army recruits or students living in dormitories, or if a person is part of community which is suffering from a meningococcal outbreak.
  • Person who continue to remain at increased risk may be considered for a booster dose.


Contraindicated in:

  • A person who had severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, or who is allergic to any component of the vaccine.


  • Serogroup B and MenACWY are relatively new vaccines and experience regarding their use in pregnancy is limited. They should be used in pregnancy only if clearly indicated. MPSV4 is fairly safe in pregnancy.
  • Vaccination may be delayed in acutely ill patients until they are well again.