Meningococcal B (Men B) vaccination programme for babies

As babies and young children are most commonly affected by meningococcal B, you should ensure that your baby receives the vaccination.

Men B vaccination 

Babies can get the Men B vaccine alongside other vaccinations when they are aged:

  • two months
  • four months
  • 12 months

The vaccine is given as a single injection into your baby’s thigh and may cause some side effects such as:

  • redness, swelling or tenderness where they had the injection (this will slowly disappear within a few days)
  • being a bit irritable and feeding poorly
  • having a temperature (fever)

It is quite common for babies who receive the Men B vaccine at two and four months of age to have a fever after the vaccination. You can help reduce this by giving them infant paracetamol which will also help against other side effects.

Men B disease

The Men B vaccine will protect your baby against infection by meningococcal group B bacteria, which can cause meningitis (infection and inflammation of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning), which are serious and potentially fatal illnesses.

Meningitis and septicaemia are caused by meningococcal group B bacteria which can affect people of any age, but is most common in babies and young children.

With early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment, most people with meningococcal disease make a full recovery. But it is fatal in about one in ten cases and can lead to long-term health problems such as amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties.

Why your baby should get the Men B vaccine

There are lots of different strains of Men B infection. The vaccine protects against most (about three quarters) but not all the strains.

The vaccine reduces your baby’s chance of getting the infection. But there is still a small chance they could get it, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

Information about Men B vaccination

You can ask your GP or practice nurse for more information about the vaccine.

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