How Does Menomune Work?This vaccine contains polysaccharide (sugar) molecules from the outside coating of the N. meningitidis bacteria. Simply stated, this vaccine "tricks" the body into thinking it has been exposed to the actual bacteria, but without the risks of a real infection. If future exposure to the bacteria occurs, the immune system "remembers" the bacteria and is better able to fight it off.
Menomune is different from the newer version of the meningococcal vaccine (Menactra®). With the newer version, the polysaccharides are attached to diphtheria toxoid proteins (this type of vaccine is known as a conjugate vaccine). This simple change makes the vaccine more effective for younger children, since children respond better to conjugate vaccines, and it provides longer-lasting immunity.
Menactra is the preferred vaccine for people ages 2 through 55. Menomune is preferred only for adults over the age of 55.
When and How to Get VaccinatedSome general considerations to keep in mind with Menomune include the following:
- This vaccine is typically given as a single dose. In some high-risk individuals, a booster may be recommended.
- Menomune is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously), usually in the upper arm.
- People can be vaccinated if they have a minor illness, such as the common cold. However, the vaccine should be postponed if the individual is moderately or severely ill.
Menomune Dosing InformationThere is only one recommended dose for this vaccine, regardless of your age or weight (see Menomune Dosage for more information).