Meningitis B Vaccination Service

Our Meningitis B Vaccination Service can help protect children and young adults between the ages of 2 and 21

Meningitis B Vaccination Service logo

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is a serious infection. It occurs when the lining around the brain and spinal cord becomes inflamed. The infection is mostly caused either by bacteria or a virus. The most common form is bacterial meningitis which can lead to brain damage, deafness, blindness, epilepsy, blood poisoning (septicaemia) and even death. The bacteria can spread to people through prolonged close contact.

What are the signs and symptoms of meningitis?

Every case of meningitis is different so the symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all. There are several types of bacterial meningitis which can cause meningococcal meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia. Together these are known as meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal meningitis

  • Severe headache
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Neck stiffness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion and drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions/seizures

Meningococcal septicaemia

  • Fever with cold hands and feet
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rapid breathing or grunting
  • Stomach cramps and diarrhoea
  • Red or purple spots or bruises that don't fade under pressure

Not all children get a rash, so don't wait for this before seeking urgent medical attention.

How can Boots help?

The NHS currently offers a MenB vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunisations programme in the UK, with vaccinations given at two, four and 12 months of age. Vaccinating babies helps protect them when they're most at risk of developing Meningitis B and Boots fully supports the NHS programme. For parents whose kids are outside the NHS age range, we offer a private vaccination service for those between two and 21 years of age in selected stores.* Talk to your GP about the vaccination if your child is under 24 months.

If our Meningitis B Vaccination Service is suitable for you or your child, two vaccinations will be given either a minimum of two months apart for those aged between two and 10, or a minimum of one month apart for those aged 11 and over. Only children under one, vaccinated through the childhood immunisations programme, would need three doses.

The injections at Boots are given in the upper arm so it's helpful for you or your child to wear loose or short sleeves that can be rolled up. You'll be asked to stay behind for five minutes after each injection to make sure there are no immediate adverse reactions to the vaccination.

*Subject to specially-trained pharmacist and stock availability. Eligibility criteria and charges apply.

How it works

1

Book an appointment at a participating Boots pharmacy

2

Get a first dose of the vaccination, if suitable, after a pharmacist consultation

3

Return at a later date for the second dose of the vaccination

Are there any side effects to the vaccination?

Vaccinations shouldn't cause too much discomfort, although the injected area can become sore and red. Young children may develop a fever (a temperature over 37.5°C), so it's a good idea to check their temperature regularly with a thermometer. You can give them age-appropriate paracetamol to help lower their temperature if you need to.

Make sure they're comfortable in their clothing and don't have too much bedding over them. Headaches and joint pain is most common in those over 11, these disappear on their own in time, but can be eased with pain relief, such as paracetamol. The good news is that, although common, most of these symptoms are mild - and not everyone gets them.

The different meningitis vaccinations

There are a number of effective vaccines to help prevent some types of meningitis. The tables below show which vaccinations are available to which age groups and how people can get them.

Available in Boots stores

Age eligibility

Boots Travel Service Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

For travellers aged 5 and over

Boots Meningitis B Vaccination Service

Aged 2-21

How to access

Boots Travel Service Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

Book appointment online or in store

Boots Meningitis B Vaccination Service

Book appointment online or in store

Boots Travel Service Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

For travellers aged 5 and over

Book appointment online or in store

Boots Meningitis B Vaccination Service

Aged 2-21

Book appointment online or in store

Not available through Boots, but available through other providers

Age eligibility

NHS Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

17-18 years of age (school year 13) and older first-time university entrants (aged 19-25)

NHS Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

The Men ACWY will replace Men C offered to year 9 or 10 (13-15 year olds). This school-based programme will also provide a catch-up to include pupils in year 11 (15 and 16 year olds)

NHS Meningitis B Vaccine

For babies born after 1 May 2015 aged 2 months, followed by a second dose at 4 months and a booster at 12 months

NHS Meningitis C Vaccine

For babies at 3 months of age and 12 months of age

How to access

NHS Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

Local GP practice

NHS Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

School programme

NHS Meningitis B Vaccine

Local GP practice

NHS Meningitis C Vaccine

Local GP practice

NHS Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

17-18 years of age (school year 13) and older first-time university entrants (aged 19-25)

Local GP practice

NHS Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

The Men ACWY will replace Men C offered to year 9 or 10 (13-15 year olds). This school-based programme will also provide a catch-up to include pupils in year 11 (15 and 16 year olds)

School programme

NHS Meningitis B Vaccine

For babies born after 1 May 2015 aged 2 months, followed by a second dose at 4 months and a booster at 12 months

Local GP practice

NHS Meningitis C Vaccine

For babies at 3 months of age and 12 months of age

Local GP practice

How long will the in-store consultation take?

The in-store consultation and jab, if suitable, will take approximately 25 minutes.

Price

The Meningitis B Vaccination Service costs £110 per vaccination, the two-dose course costs £220

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Boots will donate £1 to Meningitis Now for every child we vaccinate (registered Charity number for England and Wales 803016 and Scotland SC037790)

In-store leaflet

Our in-store pharmacy teams can give you more information or you can download our Meningitis B Vaccination Service leaflet.

Download leaflet

Find out more