Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects

Facts on Meningitis Vaccine Side Effects                            

All vaccines and results of such injections carry a risk-this includes meningitis vaccine side effects. Meningitis is a potentially life-threatening infection/inflammation of the lining or tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. If not treated early, it can lead to brain swelling and subsequently to a permanent disability, coma and even death.


Meningitis infection is caused by a number of factors-bacterial or viral being the top two. Other causes are fungal (which is rare), as well as certain medication side effects and toxins from the environments we live in (heavy metals, etc.). Some of the more common symptoms of the disease include headache, vomiting and/or nausea, high fever and sensitivity to light in the beginning and later, a stiff neck, confusion and/or seizures.

Often fought off by a healthy person's own immune system and requiring little treatment, viral meningitis is the more common of the top two and the least severe. Bacterial meningitis, while occurring less is by far the most serious. It is the one that can be fatal, cause significant damage in survivors or even oppose standard treatments. It was because of bacterial meningitis that vaccines were developed in the first place.


Meningitis strikes children as well as adults. Despite various treatment-including effective antibiotics, it still kills up to 15% of those who succumb to the infection. It is not the same meningitis infants are vaccinated for, and it is being recommended that all children have this additional vaccine before their twelfth birthday when the meningitis vaccine side effects are not thought to be as severe.

Many people wonder about getting vaccinated for something like meningitis. All vaccines carry risks such as pain at the injection site accompanied by redness and/or soreness-possibly even fever but how do the additional meningitis vaccine side effects stack up against that risk of contracting even something as potentially dangerous as meningitis?

People recommended for immunization are college students or others who live in close quarters, those who gather together in crowded areas-bars, lounges, clubs, etc., or those who consume alcohol (as it increases the chances of contracting meningitis) and those who smoke or are around smokers on a regular basis. Others who are at a higher risk are seniors (over 60), children under five, those in the military and those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy.

People prone to but not necessarily at risk are those with sickle cell anemia, those who use drugs intravenously and diabetics. HIV/AIDS and immunosuppressant drugs may also cause susceptibility. For any of the above persons the risk verses the meningitis vaccine side effects has to be weighed.

Meningitis vaccine side effects include pain in the arms or legs and severe fatigue or weakness that can be experienced up to four weeks after receiving the injection. This is along with the normal run of symptoms like pain, redness, swelling or a lump at injection site. It can cause a high fever or a low grade fever with chills, joint pain, a mild skin rash, vomiting with loss of appetite and/or diarrhea.

Actually it is routine to be asked to wait 15 minutes after receiving this vaccine before leaving the area. If severe reactions take place-difficulty breathing, a change in complexion color, hives, dizziness and/or a rapid or irregular heartbeat it should be reported at once.