Vaccine Safety

Bacterial meningitis is an uncommon, but potentially catastrophic infection. All of the vaccines against bacterial meningitis are effective in preventing disease and are very safe. Local reactions at the site of the injection occur in about 20% of children. The redness, swelling, and pain are usually mild and last only a day or so. Severe reactions are very uncommon. Fever, irritability, crying, loss of appetite, or other general reactions are uncommon with all of the polysaccharide vaccines.

However the vaccine against group B meningococcus (Bexsero®) is associated with an increased rate of fever in infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age when it is given at the same visit as the routine infant vaccines. The fever is usually between 39-40°C and rarely lasts more than 48 hours. Fever can be controlled with acetaminophen if necessary. In adolescents and young adults given the newer B vaccine, Trumenba, the most common adverse reactions are pain at injection site, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.

MRF urges Federal, Provincial/Territorial  governments to educate physicians, health care workers, public health, university health services and the public about Men B vaccines. The vaccines are safe and effective and have been shown to reduce death and disease from MenB in infants and teens. MRF recommends a routine provincial vaccine schedule for infants and adolescent/pre-university program in all of Canada. They are licensed in Canada.

More information on vaccines