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Meningococcal disease is a potentially severe illness caused by Neisseria meningitidis, and is transmitted through close contact of respiratory secretions or saliva. Infection occurs throughout the world but is most common in the "meningitis belt" of Africa. It can present as meningitis, sepsis, or pneumonia; case fatality ratio is 10-15% even with antibiotic treatment. Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine is a requirement for those traveling to Mecca during the annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages and is strongly recommended for travellers visiting areas in the "meningitis belt". Although quadrivalent conjugate vaccine is part of routine immunization for children, a booster dose may be needed to provide adequate protection when travelling to risk areas.
It is a quadrivalent meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine indicated for people 56 year of age or over who never receive any meningococcal vaccines in the past. It takes 7 to 10 days for the vaccine to become effective, and a booster dose may be needed after 3 to 5 years.
Menactra and Menveo
Menactra and Menveo are quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccines. Both Menactra and Menveo can be used for people 2 to 55 years old; Menactra is also licensed for use in children 9 to 23 months old. Revaccination is needed for long-term travellers who are staying in areas within the "meningitis belt or those who plan to revisit such high risk areas during dry season.