Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects

There is a vaccine to protect you against the serious medical condition known as Meningitis which is an infection in the meninges, the protective membranes which cover the spinal cord and the brain.  The condition is very serious and can be fatal.

meningitis vaccine side effects Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects

All vaccines carry side effects and you should be informed of them allowing you to weigh the risks of meningitis with the side effects of getting immunized.

Common Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects

The most common side effect of the meningitis vaccine which affects about half of the people receiving the injection is at the injection site.  These can include redness or inflammation surrounding the area. The injection site may also be a little painful.  These symptoms usually only last one to two days and resolve themselves.

Rare Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects

Rarely, people who receive the meningitis vaccine will develop a fever.  This fever can be as little as 99, usually no higher than 101 or 102 degrees.  Fevers can be treated in the usual manner with antipyretics and comfort measures. The fever will resolve within a few days.  Some experience a headache or nausea which will resolve on their own.  If these side effects are severe your doctor may advise you to use over the counter analgesics or anti-emetics for symptom relief.

Allergic reactions are another rare side effect of the meningitis vaccine.  Some allergic reactions can be severe and will require medical attention.  Severe allergic reactions usually occur within a few minutes to a few hours of receiving the immunization.  Signs of a severe allergic reaction require immediate medical care.  They include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing or hoarseness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Paleness

Very Rare Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects

Though not scientifically proven a syndrome known as Guillain-Barre has been linked to people who have received the MCV4 meningitis vaccination.  This link has been very rare and studies continue to determine if the vaccine was the cause. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious disorder that affects the nervous system.

Certain people should not take the Meningitis vaccine.  These people include anyone who has a severe allergy to the components of the vaccine, anyone with a fever or other symptoms of illness or infection, those who are pregnant or breast feeding or if you have had meningitis in the recent 6 months.

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