Vaccination for Meningococcal

What is Meningococcal vaccine ACWY (Menactra)

Menactra is a vaccine (injection/shot) given to help prevent Meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal bacteria are passed from person to person by regular, close, prolonged household and intimate contact. In a small number of people, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause invasive meningococcal disease, which can develop very quickly and causes death in about five to 10 per cent of cases.

Why Should I have the Menactra Vaccine?

Victoria is currently experiencing a high number of meningococcal infections caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C.
The vaccine is provided free of charge at MSHC and other specific GP clinics to men who have sex with men.
The Department of Health and Human Services has chosen to fund a free vaccine until June 30th 2018, based on the recommendation of national immunisation experts. Gay and bisexual men are at increased risk of meningococcal disease and more likely to spread the infection to others in their social and sexual group.
The vaccine was funded for adolescents in a school based program in 2017 based on the same risk factors.

How is the vaccine given?

Menactra is a shot that is usually injected in the arm muscle.

Is there any reason I can’t have the vaccine?

You shouldn’t have the vaccine if you’ve had:

  • Anaphylaxis following a previous dose of any meningococcal vaccine
  • Anaphylaxis following any vaccine component
  • The Menactra vaccine in the previous 4 years as you will have enough protection from that vaccine
Are there any side effects?

This vaccine is generally well tolerated. The main reported side effects are:

  • Pain, redness & swelling at the injection site
  • fever
  • irritability
  • drowsiness 
  • decreased apetite
  • headaches
Following the vaccination

You will be asked to wait in the clinic for 10 to15 minutes following the vaccination to make sure you feel ok.

Tell us if you have any of the following problems because these may be signs of an allergic reaction: 

Difficulty breathing, Wheezing (bronchospasm), Hives, rash.  Accessed December 2017

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Vaccination for Meningococcal.It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.

Last Updated December 2017