Meningococcal B

Meningococcal B, a strain of meningococcal, can be life-threatening if left untreated. Vaccination, available in Australia, is your best protection against Meningococcal B.

Key Facts:

  • Meningococcal B is one of the strains of meningococcal
  • Meningococcal is a serious infectious disease that can cause severe scarring, loss of limbs, brain damage and death.
  • Those most at risk of Meningococcal B are infants, small children, adolescents, young adults and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2 months to 19 years
  • Vaccination is your best protection against the Meningococcal B strain and is available in Australia.

Meingococcal B Vaccination

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends vaccines in Australia.

Vaccines are available in Australia to reduce the risk of Meningococcal B.

Under the Federal government's National Immunisation Program (NIP) the Meningococcal B vaccine is free for:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children 12 months and under
  • people with asplenia and hyposplenia

State government programs might also provide funding for vaccination. South Australia and Queensland extend free Meningococcal B vaccination to specific groups.

We recommend to speak with your GP about Meningococcal B vaccination for children under 5 years of age.

Illustration of two children pointing to the bandaids on heir arm where they have been vaccinated. One which points to his left arm, the other child points to their right arm Vaccination is the best protection against Meningococcal B

Meningococcal B Symptoms

Symptoms may appear 1–10 days after being infected.

People with meningococcal disease can become extremely unwell quickly.

Symptoms can include:

  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Aches
  • Rash of red-purple pin pricks or bruises
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Joint Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever

Graphic if all the symptoms of meningococcal B. They include; confusion, photophobia, neck stiffness, fever, nausea and vomiting, joint pain, cold hands and feet, rash of red-purple pinpricks or bruises, muscle aches, irritability and headaches
1 in 5 people may have lingering health problems

How it spreads

Infected secretions from the back of the nose & throat.

Common reasons for spread are: Illustration of person coughing
Illustration of person sneezing
Illustration of family group together
Regular, close, prolonged household or intimate contact

Page Published: 6 September 2023 | Page Updated: 6 September 2023