Meningitis Vaccine for Teens

Anyone at any age can get meningitis, but teens and young adults are among those who are at the highest risk of infection.

Through The 16 Vaccine educational initiative, the National Meningitis Association is urging parents to ask their teen’s doctor about the MenACWY vaccine second dose at their 16-year wellness visit.

Parents of teens can find more information about the CDC-recommended second dose of the MenACWY vaccine and other important vaccinations at The campaign website features emotional firsthand stories of meningococcal meningitis survivors and NMA advocates, like Francesca Testa, whose lives have been irrevocably impacted by the disease.

Parents can also sign up for a text reminder at, which will alert parents when it’s time to schedule an appointment for their teen’s 16-year wellness visit.

Meningitis Quick Facts:
1. Anyone at any age can get meningococcal disease, but teens and young adults are among those who are at increased risk.

2. Although rare, meningococcal disease can develop rapidly and can claim a life in as little as one day. Even with treatment, 10 to 15 percent of those who get the infection will die from it.

3. Among those who survive, as many as 19 percent live with permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations.

4. Meningococcal disease is contagious. The bacteria that cause the infection can spread when people have contact with someone’s saliva, like through kissing, coughing, sharing beverages or even cosmetics.

5. Vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal disease, yet the majority of teens have missed a critical dose of the MenACWY vaccine at age 16. In fact, less than four in 10 U.S. teens have received the recommended second vaccination.

6. For the best protection against meningococcal disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine MenACWY vaccination for adolescents starting at age 11-12 years, with a second dose at 16 years of age.