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Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Meningococcal Conjugate Type C Vaccine (Mencon C)
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Immunization

Meningococcal conjugate type C (Mencon C) vaccine

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​​​​​​​​​​Immunization protects you from disease.
​​Get protected, get immunized.

  • Vaccines make your immune system stronger. They build antibodies to help prevent diseases.
  • Immunization is safe. It's much safer to get immunized than to get this disease.​

What is the MenconC vaccine?

The MenconC vaccine protects against meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis type C bacteria.

Who should have the MenconC vaccine?

This vaccine is given to children starting at age 4 months. You may also get this vaccine after close contact with someone with type C meningococcal disease.

How many doses do I need?

Children need 2 doses which are usually given at ages 4 and 12 months.

Fewer doses are needed if immunization is started after age 12 months. Delaying this immunization is not recommended because infants have a high risk of this disease.

If you’re getting this vaccine because you had contact with someone with type C meningococcal disease your healthcare provider will tell you how many doses you need.

Are there other vaccines that protect against meningococcal disease?

MenC-ACYW is a vaccine that protects against types A, C, Y, and W-135 meningococcal disease. It’s given to Grade 9 students to boost protection for type C and to add protection for types A, Y, and W-135 meningococcal disease. You may also get this vaccine if you travel to an area that has a high risk of meningococcal disease or have other health problems.

Children who get MenC-ACYW don’t need MenconC.

Men-B is a vaccine that protects against type B meningococcal disease. You may also need this vaccine along with the MenC-ACYW vaccine if you have certain types of health problems.

How well does the vaccine work?

Protection for type C meningococcal disease with the MenconC vaccine is about 97% for healthy infants.

It’s important to get the 12-month booster dose because protection weakens over time.

Where can I get the MenconC vaccine?

You can get this vaccine at a public health office in your area.

Are there side effects from the MenconC vaccine?

There can be side effects from the MenconC vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:

  • redness, swelling, or feeling sore where you had the needle
  • feeling tired or getting upset easily
  • headache
  • fever or chills
  • body aches
  • not feeling hungry or not wanting to eat (poor appetite)
  • feeling sick to your stomach (nausea), vomiting, or loose stool (diarrhea)

It’s important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you’ll get medicine to treat the symptoms.

It’s rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.

How can I manage side effects?

  • To help with soreness and swelling, put a cool, wet cloth over the area where you had the needle.
  • There’s medicine to help with fever or pain. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure what medicine or dosage to take. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Children under the age of 18 years should not take aspirin because it can cause serious health problems.
  • Some people with health problems, such as a weak immune system, must call their doctor if they get a fever. If you’ve been told to do this, call your doctor even if you think the fever is from the vaccine.

Who should not have the MenconC vaccine?

You may not be able to have the vaccine if you:

  • have an allergy to parts of the vaccine
  • had a severe or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it

Check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.

You can still have the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have allergies or if you’ve had a side effect from a vaccine in the past.

Facts about meningococcal disease

What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by bacteria. It can lead to a serious infection of the blood or fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord (called meningitis).

  • One out of 5 people have a serious infection that causes deafness, seizures, brain damage, or loss of an arm or leg.
  • One out of 10 people can die.

Who’s most at risk?
You’re most at risk of a meningococcal infection if you:

  • are age 4 years or younger, ages 15 to19 years, or age 60 years and older
  • have health problems
  • have an infection in your lungs or airways (like influenza)
  • live in a crowded home
  • smoke or have contact with second-hand smoke
  • travel to areas where there is a high-risk of meningococcal disease

How does it spread?
Meningococcal disease spreads through saliva during kissing or sharing food, toys, or water bottles with someone who has the disease.

Some people don’t have symptoms, but can still spread the disease.

More information

Current as of: August 11, 2020

Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services