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Meningococcal disease is caused by invasive infection with the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, also known as the meningococcus. There are 12 identified capsular groups of which groups B, C, W and Y were historically the most common in the UK. Since the introduction of the routine MenC vaccination programme, cases of invasive meningococcal disease in the UK due to capsular group C have reduced dramatically, and capsular group B now accounts for the majority of cases.
Meningococcal disease is transmitted by respiratory aerosols, droplets or by direct contact with the respiratory secretions of someone carrying the bacteria. The incubation period is from 2 to 7 days and the onset of disease varies from severe and sudden onset with acute and overwhelming features, to insidious with mild prodromal symptoms.
The recommended vaccines for the MenACWY vaccine programme are the MenACWY conjugate vaccines Menveo or Nimenrix. These 2 vaccines will continue to offer protection against meningococcal capsular group C, while offering additional protection against groups A, W and Y. Both vaccines are licensed for use in adolescents and adults and can be safely given with other routine adolescent vaccines.
The Complete Routine Immunisation Schedule includes information about routine and non-routine vaccinations.
Vaccination programme recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Welsh Government policy can be found at the links below.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - GOV.UK (read JCVI publications and statements; search e.g. meningococcal)
Online courses and training materials about a number of vaccines and diseases can be accessed via the E-learning page.
Further immunisation training information and resources are provided on the Training Resources and Events page.
PGD templates for vaccines can be found on the Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols page.