Meningitis - How is it prevented?

New Zealand health authorities recommend that travellers to high-risk areas be adequately protected against meningococcal disease.2  Each time you plan to travel, show your doctor or travel medicine specialist your travel itinerary at least 6−8 weeks before you leave,6 to check if you need to take any precautionary measures against meningococcal disease.

There are several meningococcal vaccines that are available in New Zealand. One vaccination that is available is Mencevax ACW135Y.7 This vaccine contains four of the five major strains (serogroups) of bacteria that cause meningitis.5  Mencevax is given as a single dose and will provide protection against these strains of meningitis for 3 years in children over 5 years of age and adults.7  No vaccines are 100% effective5 so you will need to be careful when you are in large crowds for long periods of time.

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