How to protect your family

You can reduce the risk of infection in the following ways:

Vaccinations

Vaccines help to prevent meningitis, however, there is no single vaccine to protect against all bacterial strains. Children will be vaccinated on the NHS, however, many groups are not eligible on the national schedule. Find out if your family is covered.

MY CHILD WAS BORN:

Children born before May 2015
Children born after May 2015
Teenagers and Adults

Children born before May 2015

In addition to the infant schedule, which your child would have had before their first birthday, they should also have had / should have the following meningitis preventing vaccinations. Brackets indicate when the vaccine was added to the schedule:

At about 1 year of age

  • Hib/Men C (added in 2006)
  • Pneumococcal (added in 2006)

Pre-school – 3 years 4 months

  • Measles, mumps & rubella (MMR) – also given on the infant schedule (pre-school dose added in 1996)

At School Year 9:

  • Meningococcal ACWY (added in 2015)

Meningococcal group B bacteria are now the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK. Meningitis B vaccination was introduced into the UK routine immunisation schedule in Sept 2015. If your child was born before this date s/he will not be offered it as part of the routine immunisation schedule.

You can visit the NHS website for more information on the current schedule. Speak to your doctor if you are unsure of which vaccines you or your child has had. Advice and vaccination is also available privately from many pharmacies, private clinics and hospitals.

Children born after May 2015

The UK vaccination schedule includes vaccines that help protect against meningitis-causing diseases. If your child was born after September 2015 they will receive the following vaccinations that help to protect against meningitis:

Pneumococcal
HiB/Meningitis C
Meningitis B

MMR
Meningitis ACWY
5 or 6 in 1 combination vaccine

Teenagers and Adults

Meningococcal group B bacteria are now the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK. Meningitis B vaccination was introduced into the UK routine immunisation schedule in Sept 2015. It is offered to babies at 2 months and 4 months with a booster at 12 months. If your child was born before this date s/he will not be offered it as part of the routine immunisation schedule.

For people not eligible for an NHS vaccination, advice and vaccination is available privately from many pharmacies, private clinics and hospitals.

Find your local vaccination clinic