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Meningococcal C vaccine

The meningococcal C vaccine helps protect you against the meningococcal C . Meningococcal can cause inflammation of the lining of the brain (meningitis) and/or septicaemia (a form of blood infection). Although there are 13 different types of meningococcal, the vaccine only protects against one, meningococcal C.

This vaccine is also available in the Haemophilus influenzae type B and meningococcal C combination vaccine.

Vaccine recommendations

Meningococcal C is offered to children in a combination vaccine at 12 months of age and is a free vaccine under the National Immunisation Program.

Meningococcal C vaccine is also be recommended to other groups, for example, if you are at a high risk of developing meningococcal. Speak to your doctor or immunisation provider if you think you are in a high risk category.

How the vaccine is given

The meningococcal C vaccine is given as an injection into the top of the arm.

Possible side effects

Like any medications, the meningococcal C vaccine can have some minor and short lasting side effects.

Common effects may include:

  • pain, redness and swelling where you were immunised
  • low grade fever of 37 to 38 degrees Celcius
  • feeling unsettled or irritable
  • a lower appetite than normal
  • headaches.

Very rarely, a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine

If you are concerned or worried, seek further advice from your doctor, immunisation provider, SA Health's Immunisation section or healthdirect Australia.

Any unexpected event following immunisation should be reported to SA Health.

Reducing the side effects

Many of the common side effects can be reduced by:

  • drinking extra fluids
  • taking paracetamol as per the instructions on the packet/bottle
  • not overdressing if you are already hot.

Where to get immunised

To receive the vaccine contact your doctor, local council, community health centre or Aboriginal health centre to arrange an appointment. 

For further information on immunisation providers, see the Immunisation services page.

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