Skip to content

    Children's Vaccines Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Understanding Meningitis -- Prevention

    Meningitis Vaccines continued...

    Two large studies refuted the concern that GBS was caused by Menactra.

    Other Vaccines to Prevent Meningitis

    Vaccines can prevent many of the diseases that could lead to meningitis. Most of these shots are routinely given to young children. The immunizations that help prevent bacterial and viral meningitis include:

    • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine, which prevents infections that cause pneumonia, meningitis, and other problems. It's given to children between 2 months and 15 months old, and then to children over 5 years old or adults with certain medical conditions. While Hib used to be the most likely cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years old, the vaccine has made it very rare.
    • Pneumococcal vaccines also protect against bacterial meningitis. There are two types. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is routinely given to children under age 2. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is recommended for all adults over 65. Some younger adults and children with a missing spleen, weakened immune systems, and certain chronic diseases may also need it.
    • MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, which is routinely given to children, protects against meningitis that can develop from measles and mumps.
    • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine and shingles vaccine target the varicella virus, which can potentially lead to viral meningitis.

    Other Precautions in Meningitis Prevention

    In addition to vaccinations, you should follow some commonsense precautions to help prevent meningitis.

    • Be careful around people who have meningitis. It's possible to catch some types of meningitis through contact with bodily fluids. So it might be spread by kissing, sneezing, coughing, or sharing utensils or toothbrushes. If someone in your family has a contagious type of meningitis, try to limit contact with the infected person.
    • Wash your hands after having contact with someone who has meningitis.

    If you come into close contact with someone with meningitis, call your health care provider. Depending on the extent of exposure and the type of meningitis, you may need to take an antibiotic as a precaution.

     

     

     

     

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on August 12, 2015
    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    Baby getting vaccinated
    Is there a link? Get the facts.
    syringes and graph illustration
    Get a customized vaccine schedule.
     
    baby getting a vaccine
    Know the benefits and the risk
    nurse holding syringe in front of girl
    Should your child have it?
     

    What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
    Article
    24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
    Slideshow
     
    Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
    Article
    Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids
    Video
     

    Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
    Video
    gloved hand holding syringe
    Article
     
    infant receiving injection
    Tool
    pills
    Quiz
     

    WebMD Special Sections