Vaccination against types A, C , W and Y have been included in the National Immunisation Programme. As of 1 May 2018, toddlers receive a vaccination that protects against meningococcal disease. 14-year-old adolescents also receive an invitation for a vaccination.
Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis or blood poisoning. These are very serious illnesses. Meningitis can cause permanent brain damage. For example, your memory may be affected, or you could suffer from hearing loss. Blood poisoning can severely damage your blood vessels, making it necessary to amputate a foot, hand, arm or leg. People sometimes become so ill from the bacterial infection that they die. Fortunately, the risk to get ill due to meningococcal bacteria is very low.
Extended vaccine protection by 2018
In recent years, the number of cases of Meningococcal W disease has been increasing in the Netherlands. That is why, as of 1 May 2018, the Meningococcal C vaccination has been replaced by one that protects against meningococcal types A, C, W and Y. Because meningococcal type W is also hazardous for older children, the vaccination is also be offered to teenagers in the year they turn 14, as of 1 October 2018. Getting this injection will prevent them from becoming ill or infecting other people.
Where and when is the MenACWY vaccination administered?
Children aged 14 months receive an invitation from the child health centre for this vaccination. The vaccination is given simultaneously with the BMR-vaccination (mumps, measles, rubella). This means that the child will get two vaccinations, both in the upper arm.