The meningococcal vaccine can help protect your child against certain diseases caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, including:
Neisseria meningitidis bacteria are spread by close personal contact (such as kissing) or saliva (through sharing things like cups or water bottles). There are different types of meningococcal vaccine that provide protection against different types of Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. Talk to your child's health care professional about which type of meningococcal vaccine is most appropriate for your child.
Your child must receive all doses of this vaccine on time in order to get the maximum protection available from the vaccine. Health Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that most infants and children receive 1 to 3 doses of the meningococcal vaccine, depending on the age the vaccine was first given and on which vaccine was used.
Each province or territory has slightly different recommendations on when vaccine doses should be given. See the immunization schedule (a chart showing the recommended vaccines in your province and when each dose should be given) for your province or territory, or talk to your child's health care professional to find out when your child should receive their doses to get full vaccine coverage.
The meningococcal vaccine is not intended to be used for treatment of active infection, and it does not protect against types of Neisseria meningitidis bacteria that are not included in the vaccine. As with other vaccines, the meningococcal vaccine may not protect 100% of people who have the vaccine, and it may cause side effects.
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