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Get Your Vax: Meningitis

What is meningitis?

intl studentMeningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It can lead to meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia or septicemia (infections of the blood). Meningococcal disease often strikes without warning – even people who are otherwise healthy.

Meningococcal disease can spread from person to person through close contact (coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially among people living in the same household.

There are at least 12 types of Neisseria meningitidis, called “serogroups.” Serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y cause most meningococcal disease.


Meningitis B

Meningococcal (MenB) vaccine can help prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B.

Meningococcal B vaccine is recommended only for high risk people age 16-23. However, it is approved for all young adults age 16-23.

High risk groups are:

  • People at risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak
  • Anyone whose spleen is damaged or has been removed
  • Anyone with a rare immune system condition called “persistent complement component deficiency”
  • Anyone taking a drug called eculizumab (also called Soliris®)
  • Microbiologists who routinely work with meningitidis isolates

Meningitis A, C, W, & Y

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MCV4, is recommended to help protect against serogroups A, C, W and Y.

Hall Health Center, along with the CDC, recommends all incoming students, ages 16-23, be immunized with the Meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MCV4.

Any student who had their first MCV4 vaccine before age 16 should have a booster dose before entering college.

Getting vaccinated at Hall Health

Hall Health Center carries both vaccines.

If you are an incoming student or current UW student (Seattle campus), no appointment is necessary. Please check in at the patient services desk at Hall Health Center to be seen in the Immunization clinic.

If you have already started a Meningitis B vaccine series, please confirm which brand, either Bexsero or Trumenba, and the dates of your injection. Bring this record with you to the Immunization Clinic.

Most insurance plans are covering these vaccines, but please check with your specific insurance plan for vaccine coverage. If you don’t have insurance or are underinsured, a government program may be available to pay for your vaccines.

If you are not a student but are a new or established patient at Hall Health Center, you will need an appointment to talk to a provider about ordering the vaccine.

For appointments please contact the Patient Service Center.

Additional resources

For more information: