Make the MenB patient discussion part of the decision to vaccinate

As of 2018, only 17.2% of 17-year-olds had received immunization against meningococcal serogroup B disease (MenB).1 There are probably a variety of reasons for this—but one reason could be that healthcare professionals tend to skip the MenB discussion with appropriate patients.


Do you involve patients and parents in the decision to vaccinate against meningococcal serogroup B disease (MenB)? If it’s not a part of your protocol, you may not be following the latest CDC recommendation.

CDC recommends MenB vaccination for adolescents not at increased risk, aged 16-23 years (preferred age 16-18 years), based on shared clinical decision-making.2


  • According to the CDC, shared clinical decision-making vaccinations are not recommended for everyone in a particular age or risk group. 
  • Shared clinical decision-making recommendations are individually based and informed by a decision process between the healthcare provider and the patient or parent/guardian.

The best way to achieve shared clinical decision-making is to have a discussion about MenB. Remember that patients and parents may not know what MenB is—that’s why it’s important for you to start the conversation

Include the following points in your MenB conversation:


REVIEW what meningococcal disease is, as well as the potential consequences and their rapid progression

LIST the behavioral risk factors that can lead to contracting MenB

EXPLAIN the differences between serogroups ACWY and B and the 2 different types of vaccines

RECOMMEND that your appropriate patients start the MenB vaccination series

REMIND them that MenB vaccines are typically covered by the Affordable Care Act and the Vaccines for Children Program3,4

EMPHASIZE the importance of series completion and schedule their second dose

Have you seen the potential real-life impact of meningococcal disease?


Vaccination may not protect all recipients.

CDC=Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


References: 1. Walker TY, Elam-Evans LD, Yankey D, et al. National, regional, state, and selected local area vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years—United States, 2018. MMWR. 2019;68(33):718-723. 2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunization schedules: Recommended child and adolescent immunization schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2020. Updated February 3, 2020. Accessed February 6, 2020. 3. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Affordable Care Act and Reconciliation ACT. Updated June 10, 2010. Accessed February 3, 2020. 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Vaccines for Children Program: Vaccines to prevent meningococcal disease. Resolution No. 6/19-7. Effective June 27, 2019. Accessed February 4, 2020.


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