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MenB Vaccine

MenB Vaccine

Everything you need to know about
the MenB Vaccine

The MenB vaccine protects your infant from meningococcal group B bacteria illness.

Nine out of ten meningococcal illnesses in young infants are caused by these bacteria.

Meningococcal infections can lead to meningitis and sepsis, which can be fatal. This can result in serious brain damage, amputations, and, in the worst-case scenario, death.

The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to use the Bexsero vaccine to introduce a MenB vaccine into its national programme.

Who can have the MenB vaccine and when

All newborns born on or after May 1, 2015, are eligible for the MenB vaccine, which is a regular childhood vaccination available on the NHS.

Meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning) vaccine is administered as an injection into the left thigh at the same time as the other usual childhood vaccines at:

  • 8 weeks
  • 16 weeks
  • 1 year

The MenB vaccine and other vaccines

The MenB vaccination can be given to your child at the same time as other common childhood vaccines, such as the 6-in-1 vaccine and the MMR vaccine. Each vaccine is given in distinct limbs whenever possible.

How to get the MenB vaccine

Your doctor’s office or clinic will send you an appointment for your baby’s MenB immunisation, as well as their other routine vaccinations.

Special immunisation or baby clinics are available at most surgeries and health centres.

If you are unable to attend the clinic, please contact the doctor’s surgery to schedule another appointment.

How the MenB vaccine is given

Bexsero is the MenB vaccination used in the United Kingdom. It’s injected into your baby’s thigh in a single shot.

MenB vaccine safety

The MenB vaccination, like all vaccines, can cause adverse effects, although studies show that they are usually minor and short-lived.

During clinical trials, nearly 8,000 people were given the MenB vaccination, including more than 5,000 newborns and toddlers.

Nearly 5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to children in the UK since it was authorised in 2015.

The MenB vaccine and other vaccines

The MenB vaccine can be given alongside other normal newborn vaccines like the 6-in-1 vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine.

How the MenB vaccine works

The MenB vaccine combines three key proteins found on the surface of most meningococcal bacteria with the outer membrane of a single MenB strain.

They work together to boost the immune system’s defences against future meningococcal infections.

MenB vaccine protection

Meningococcal group B bacteria come in hundreds of distinct strains all over the world.

According to certain testing, the MenB vaccine protects against nearly 9 out of 10 kinds of meningococcal group B bacteria found in the UK.

However, it is unclear how this will affect the number of lives saved or instances avoided.

Common side effects of the MenB vaccine

The MenB vaccination has a strong track record when it comes to safety. Many babies experience no adverse consequences at all. Any negative effects that do occur are usually modest and short-lived.

When the MenB vaccine is administered alongside other immunizations, the most common side effect is a high temperature (fever).

To lessen the chance of fever, paracetamol should be taken after vaccination.

More than half of babies who were given MenB without paracetamol developed fever, according to studies.

The fever usually peaks 6 hours after immunisation, although it goes away within 2 days.

Although not developing fever does not indicate the vaccine did not work, it does suggest that your kid is responding to it.

Other typical MenB vaccination side effects in newborns and young children include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleepiness
  • Unusual crying and irritability
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea

Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site is the most prevalent side effect in older children, teenagers, and adults.

MenB vaccine and paracetamol

To lessen the risk of fever following vaccination, you should give your newborn liquid paracetamol.

Giving paracetamol to your infant reduces his or her odds of acquiring a fever by more than half. Almost all of these fevers are minor.

At your immunisation session, your nurse will provide you with more information regarding paracetamol.

You’ll also receive a pamphlet with advice on how to give your infant the correct dose. On GOV.UK, you may find a paracetamol booklet for parents.

Before the 2-month vaccine visit, it’s a good idea to have some liquid paracetamol on hand. It’s available at your local drugstore or grocery.

Premature babies, MenB vaccine and paracetamol

If your baby was born before 32 weeks, paracetamol should be prescribed for them based on their weight, rather than a sachet of infant paracetamol from the surgery or liquid paracetamol purchased from a pharmacy.

This GOV.UK booklet describes how to use paracetamol to prevent and treat a high temperature following MenB vaccination.

Rare side effects of the MenB vaccine

Allergic reaction

Rarely, newborns may experience an adverse reaction to the MenB vaccine shortly after receiving it. This can manifest as a rash or itching on a portion or all of their body.

They may experience a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) within minutes of receiving the immunisation in extremely rare situations. Breathing difficulties and collapse may result as a result of this.

It’s frightening at the time, but the doctor or nurse who administers the vaccine has been trained to handle these reactions.

If the baby is treated promptly, he or she should be able to recover completely.

What to do if your baby is unwell after the MenB vaccine

As with any immunizations, some newborns may experience adverse effects such as flushing, screaming, being irritable, and so on, but these are usually minor and temporary.

The vast majority of babies will have no issues whatsoever.

Follow your nurse’s instructions for using liquid paracetamol to avoid fever after vaccination.

If your child becomes ill after vaccination or you have concerns about their health, trust your instincts and contact your doctor or NHS 111.

Never provide an aspirin-containing drug to a child.

Learn more about a child’s elevated temperature (fever).

Monitoring the safety of the MenB vaccine

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Committee on Safety of Medicines in the United Kingdom monitor vaccination safety through the Yellow Card Scheme.

Rashes, fever, vomiting, and redness and swelling where the injection was given were the most common vaccination responses recorded through the Yellow Card Scheme.

What happens if my baby misses their vaccination appointment?

Make a fresh appointment with your GP as soon as possible if your baby misses the vaccine appointment or if the immunisation is postponed.

Babies who did not receive their first MenB immunisation at the age of eight weeks might begin later.

Those who have received some of their MenB immunizations but have not completed the entire programme can catch up on any vaccinations they may have missed.

Only kids born on or after May 1, 2015, will be eligible for the MenB immunisation.

Which babies should not have the MenB vaccine?

The MenB vaccination is only given to a small percentage of newborns.

The MenB vaccine should not be given to a newborn who has the following conditions:

  • Has had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of the MenB vaccine or any of its ingredients – learn more about the MenB vaccine’s ingredients.
  • Is sick and has a high fever – in this case, postpone vaccination till they’ve recovered.

Babies with a slight illness that does not result in a high temperature, such as a cold, can receive immunisation as usual.