Meningitis is a disease whose causes vary widely. It is for this reason that a combination of vaccines are necessary to prevent any infection that can protect against it. It is advisable that all children go through the NHS approved vaccination schedule. You may want to talk to your general practitioner to find out whether you are up-to-date.
Here are some of the meningitis vaccinations that your child receives when you follow the approved schedule.
Men B Vaccine
This is a new vaccine and it protects against group B meningococcal bacteria, one of the most common causes of the disease in kids today. This vaccine is administered to babies at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and a booster shot at 12 months.
5 in 1 Vaccine
It is also referred to as DTaP/Hib/IP vaccine and it offers protection against tetanus, polio, diphtheria, haemophilus influenza B type and whooping cough. Hib is one of the common types of bacteria known to cause meningitis. The vaccine is administered on separate occasions to babies at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks.
This vaccine protects against a range of serious infections which arise as a result of increased pneumococcal bacteria in the body. Such infections include pneumonia and meningitis. The vaccine is effective when administered to babies at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and 12 months of age.
PCV vaccines are known to protect against 13 strains of bacteria that cause septicaemia and meningitis. While there are more than 90 pneumococcal bacteria strains, only a few are known to cause disease.
PPV is administered to people above the age of 65 years to protect against 23 pneumococcal bacteria strains. This vaccine is not effective in kids below 2 years, and does not offer long term protection.
Men C Vaccine
There are several groups of meningococcal bacteria, and they require differing vaccines. To protect against type C the Men C vaccine is administered when the baby is 12 months old. This vaccination, which is administered as one of the components of the combined ACWY vaccine, is also given to teenagers as well as those going to the university for the first time.
This vaccine protects against mumps, rubella and measles as complications arising from these infections can cause meningitis. This vaccine's first dose is administered to babies at 12 months, and a second dose given at 40 months.
The Men ACWY Vaccine
This is a combine vaccine that offers protection against several types of meningococcal bacteria namely Y, W, C and A. this combined dose is usually given to teenagers and first year students to protect against the infection just in case they are in contact with an infected person.
With the unending debate about aluminum in vaccines you may want to know which vaccines contain the metal compounds and which don’t. Here is a brief on the most common vaccines available today.
Meningitis Vaccines with Aluminum
• Daptacel - DTap
• Infanrix - DTaP
• Tripedia - DTaP
• Pediatrix - DTaP/IPV/HepB
• ACTHib - Hib
• PedvaxHib - Hib
• Comvax - Hib/Hep B
• Menactra – Meningitis vaccine
• Prevnar – Pneumococcal vaccine
Meningitis Vaccines without Aluminum
• Menomune - Meningitis vaccine
• Menveo - Meningitis vaccine
• MMR 2 – MMR Vaccine
• ProQuad – MMR Vaccine
• Pneumovax – Pneumococcal vaccine
There is an endless list of approved vaccines in the market today. If you are really concerned about aluminum compounds in the vaccines administered to your child, you can ask your doctor to tell you the ingredients of the vaccine as well as their effects before administering.
You will also find that the internet can be quite resourceful. Do a quick search of the approved vaccines which do not contain aluminum and you will be surprised at the wealth of information you receive. It is advisable to talk with your GP to guide you on the vaccines you prefer.
While some studies have proven that people with brain damage have had accumulated aluminum in their brain cells, it is also proven that vaccines have almost negligible amounts of aluminum in them. This has led to other studies that have shown that the aluminum accumulation in the brain cells may actually be as a result of the cell damage as opposed to being the cause.
In response to the aluminum vaccines concerns, there are a range of other alternative vaccine schedules that are meant to reduce the amount of aluminum given to children. These alternative schedules involve administering smaller doses of a vaccine, or using vaccines that are free of aluminum compounds. Before using these vaccines, it is important to find out whether they are safe or not. You can talk to a few pediatricians to get information on what needs to be done.
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