What is Meningococcal disease?

Meningococci are bacteria that can cause the life-threatening meningococcal meningitis or meningococcal sepsis (blood poisoning) in humans. Meningococcal disease is widespread worldwide, but repeated outbreaks occur primarily in the Sahel region of Africa between January and June. The disease is spread via droplets (e.g., coughing, sneezing, talking) or direct mucosal contact (e.g., kissing). Outbreaks occur more frequently in connection with large gatherings of people in confined spaces.


When and how often should I be vaccinated against meningococcal disease?

In Switzerland, vaccination is given as part of basic immunization at 2 years of age and between 11-15 years old. Often a further vaccination is recommeded during university or boarding school, because these are the ideal conditions for the spread of meningococci. Depending on travel patterns and the local epidemiological situation, vaccination is also recommended in the Sahel region of Africa. Vaccination is mandatory for pilgrimages to Mecca.

63-124 CHF per dose
plus consultion and injection fees

What else should I know about the meningococcocal vaccine?

  • Meningococci are divided into 12 different serotypes, the most common of which are serotypes A, C, W135, Y and B. A vaccination is available for all of these serotypes.

  • People can be asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria.

  • For more information on meningococcal disease, visit the website of the FOPH or HealthyTravel.

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