Travel destinations requiring meningitis vaccination updated

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated the list of countries included in the 'meningitis belt' of sub-Saharan Africa for which vaccination of travellers against the disease is recommended.

Vaccination against certain strains of the Neisseria meningitis bacteria (pictured) is recommended before travel to countries in the
Vaccination against certain strains of the Neisseria meningitis bacteria (pictured) is recommended before travel to countries in the

The WHO has added Guinea Bissau and Mauritania to the list of countries for which vaccination against the A, C, Y and W135 meningitis strains is recommended before planned travel.

The complete list now reads as follows: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo and Uganda.

Proof of quadrivalent vaccination is also a requirement for anyone wishing to enter Saudi Arabia for the purpose of Umrah or Hajj pilgrimage or for seasonal work.

Countries for which routine meningitis vaccination is no longer recommended are Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Zambia.

Three quadrivalent meningitis vaccines are currently available in the UK: ACWY Vax, Menveo and Nimenrix. Nimenrix is suitable for use from 12 months and Menveo and ACWY Vax are licensed from 2 years.

Patient factsheet on meningitis

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