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Facts About...

Meningococcal Quadrivalent Conjugate Vaccine
(e.g., Menactra®)

What is it?

  • Meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate (Men-C-ACYW-135) vaccine protects against 4 types of bacteria (A, C, Y and W-135) that cause invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). IMD can cause swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and/or a blood infection. IMD can lead to serious illness or in some cases death. For more information, see Facts About... Meningitis.
  • Menactra®, Menveo®, and Nimenrix® are Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccines that are approved for use in Canada.
  • Menactra® is currently offered at Durham Region Health Department clinics.
  • Men-C-ACYW-135 (e.g. Menactra®) is different from meningococcal C vaccines (e.g., Menjugate®) and meningococcal B vaccines (e.g., Bexsero®). Talk to your health care provider for more information.

Who Should Receive the vaccine?

Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine is recommended and publicly funded (free) for people 9 months to 55 years of age, where the risk of IMD is ongoing, including:

  • Adolescents (routinely at 12 years of age) and young adults. Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine is offered for FREE at school based vaccine clinics in grade 7.
  • People with a non-functional spleen (e.g., people with sickle cell disease or who may be having or who have had their spleen removed).
  • Close contacts of anyone who has IMD caused by any of the four strains A, C, Y, and W-135.
  • People who have complement, properdin or factor D or primary antibody deficiencies.
  • Cochlear implant recipients (pre/post).
  • People with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Other people recommended to receive Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine include:

  • Travelers going to countries where the vaccine is recommended.
  • People who work in research, industrial and clinical labs who may be exposed to the bacteria.
  • Military personnel during recruit training and on certain deployments.
  • People who have previously received Menomune® vaccine and have ongoing risk of infection.

What is the schedule for the vaccine?

Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine is offered for FREE to children in grade 7 through school-based and public health immunization clinics.

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, one dose of Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine is required for children attending school in Ontario unless they have a valid exemption*. It is recommended that all grade 7 students receive a dose of Men-C-ACYW-135 even if previously vaccinated.

Are there side effects with the vaccine?

The most common reported side effects are:

  • Redness, pain and swelling where the needle was given
  • Headache
  • Fussiness in children
  • Fatigue

Side effects are usually mild and last only a short time. A cold, wet compress applied to the injection site and/or acetaminophen can be used to help relieve pain, swelling, and/or mild fever after vaccination.

Severe allergic reactions after vaccination are very rare and may not be related to the vaccine. However, if you think a serious reaction is developing, seek medical attention right away. Any unusual or significant changes in your health or your child’s health after the immunization should be reported to a health care provider and the Health Department.

Who should NOT get the vaccine?

  • People who have been given the Menomune® (meningococcal polysaccharide) vaccine within the past 24 weeks.
  • People who have received a meningococcal conjugate vaccine within the past 4 weeks.
  • If you have any medical conditions, discuss with a health care provider to determine if you should receive the vaccine.
  • People who are sick with a high fever or serious infection worse than a cold should wait until they feel better.
  • Anyone who has had an allergic or severe reaction to a previous dose of any vaccine (talk to your health care provider).
  • Any component in a vaccine may be a potential allergen. The most common allergens for Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccines are:
    • Menactra®: diphtheria toxoid protein
    • Menveo®: diphtheria CRM toxoid carrier protein
    • Nimenrix®: tetanus toxoid protein
  • For more information on contents of vaccine refer to the Canadian Immunization Guide, Evergreen Edition

Don’t forget to update your record of protection

After you or your child receives a vaccine, update your immunization record (yellow card). For children in school or child care, please call the Health Department to update your child’s immunization record. Keep immunization records in a safe place!

*Parents must contact the Health Department if you object to immunization based on conscious or religious beliefs, or if your child cannot be immunized for medical reasons

September 20, 2017

For more information call
905-668-7711 OR 1-800-841-2729