Meningococcal bacteria can cause an infection which often includes meningitis and damage throughout the body. Although meningococcal infections are rare, they can be very damaging and deadly. Serotypes of meningococcus which infect children and adolescents include A, B, C, W, and Y. The meningococcal vaccine routinely given in our office, Menactra, protects against serotypes A, C, W, and Y. A newer vaccine available in our office, Trumenba, protects against serotype B. Here is the CDC discussion on meningococcal vaccines:
Menactra is recommended by the CDC for all adolescents, and it is required for admission by colleges and universities. Trumenba is only recommended by the CDC for adolescents with specific immunodeficiencies, specific hematologic abnormalities, and a non-functioning or absent spleen. However, it has been found by the FDA to be both safe and effective. Adding Trumenba to Menactra would give the most complete protection possible for your adolescent. Unfortunately, since it is not recommended for all adolescents by the CDC, it is not routinely covered by insurance. Here is a list of the 5 college outbreaks of Meningococcal B infection since 2013:
If you are interested in the vaccine, check with your insurance. If it is not covered and you want your adolescent immunized, please call the office to learn the cost of administration. Trumenba is administered in a 3 dose series at 0, 2, and 6 months.