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​Meningococcal Conjugate Quadrivalent A, C, Y, and W-135 Vaccine

Menactra®

This vaccine protects against meningococcal disease, types A, C, Y, and W-135. This disease is easily prevented with immunization.

What is meningococcal disease?

  • An infection caused by a bacteria
  • There are two forms of meningococcal disease: meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia (a blood infection)
  • Both forms are very serious and can cause brain damage and even death in just a few hours
  • Spread by kissing, coughing and sneezing. Also spread by sharing drinks, toothbrushes, mouth guards and other objects that go in the mouth.
  • People can spread the bacteria without knowing they have it
  • Meningococcal disease kills one out of 10 people who get it, even with early treatment
  • One out of three survivors will have some form of permanent disability (e.g. limb amputation(s), deafness, and seizures)

What is the benefit of getting the vaccine?

This vaccine protects against 4 types of meningococcal bacteria: A, C Y, and W-135

Who should get Meningococcal A, C, Y, and W-135 vaccine?

  • Children 12 years of age (Gr. 7)
  • Unimmunized people older than 12 years, born in 1997 or after
  • To attend school in Ontario, all students older than grade 7 require meningococcal A, C, Y, W-135 vaccination.
  • Anyone between 9 months and 56 years of age at higher risk of getting meningitis

Talk to your doctor/public health nurse if you:

  • Had a bad reaction to a vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine, had a serious reaction to diphtheria toxoid, or have any other allergies
  • Are pregnant
  • Take medications or have any diseases that lower the immune system or increase bleeding
  • Feel very sick

What if I decide not to be immunized?

Choosing not to be immunized or delaying immunization puts you/your child at risk of getting sick with meningococcal disease and its other serious complications. This vaccine is required by law (Immunization of School Pupils Act, 2014) for school attendance. Students who are not vaccinated may be suspended from school.

Is Meningococcal A, C, Y, and W-135 vaccine safe?

Yes!  You may have no reaction or mild symptoms that include:

  • Redness, swelling, and pain where the needle went in
  • Low fever
  • Children may become fussy or sleepier than usual;

These normal reactions usually last between 12 and 24 hours.  

When should I call my doctor?

Serious reactions after vaccination are very rare.  Get immediate medical help if you/your child have any unusual symptoms such as:

  • trouble breathing, swelling in your face/mouth and/or blotchy skin (hives)
  • fever above 40°C (104°F);
  • crying or fussing for more than 24 hours;
  • worsening swelling, redness, and/or pain where the needle went in;
  • unusual sleepiness (difficult to wake)

You know best.  If you notice anything that is not normal after a vaccination, check with your healthcare provider.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Remember:

  • Make sure to update your immunization record
  • Notify the Health Unit each time your child receives a vaccine by phone (519-753-4937 ext. 451) or online

Sources: Public Health Agency of Canada (Canadian Immunization Guide), Publicly Funded Schedules for Ontario

This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace professional medical advice. Please note there is a cost for immunizations that are not included in Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule. For more information contact us at 519-753-4937 ext. 492 or email@bchu.org.

​Immunization Updates and Appointment Booking
519-753-4937 ext. 451