Meningococcal vaccines

Two conjugate vaccines protecting against group A, C, W and Y diseases and two protein vaccines protecting against group B disease are available in Finland to combat serious infections caused by meningococcus Bacteria, such as meningitis and blood poisoning.

The vaccines differ with regards to their composition and the serotypes that they cover:

  • In a conjugate vaccine, surface carbohydrates isolated from the meningococcus Bacteria are covalently attached to proteins. These give protection against the meningococcus serotype groups A, C, W and Y.
  • The ingredients of protein vaccines are meningococcal surface proteins. They provide protection against serotype group B infections.

These pages contain information on meningococcal vaccines and their use with different risk groups.
The website only covers the meningococcus ACWY (Nimenrix) and meningococcus B (Bexsero) vaccines offered from August 2020 onwards to medical risk groups within the national vaccination programme. 

Meningococcal vaccinations in Finland

Serious infections caused by meningococcus are rare in Finland, which is why vaccines against it are not included in the national vaccination programme for children, unlike in some other EU/EEA countries. On the other hand, vaccines are offered in a targeted manner for a variety of reasons to persons belonging to high-risk groups.

Vaccinations of medical risk groups

As of 1 August 2020, Meningococcus ACWY and meningococcus B vaccine are being offered free of charge within the national vaccination programme to those belonging to the medical risk groups determined by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. 

Vaccinations of close contacts

Close contacts of people with meningococcal disease have an increased risk of developing a serious meningococcal infection for up to one month after the infection of the index case. In order to protect them from the disease, they are therefore offered both a meningococcus vaccine and also antibiotic medication. Close contacts receive vaccines free of charge. 

Vaccination of conscripts

Those carrying out their military service are at a higher risk than the general population of developing a serious infection caused by meningococcus.  For this reason, the meningococcus ACWY vaccine is offered free of charge to conscripts starting their military service and to women starting their voluntary armed service. 

Vaccinations for tourists and travellers

A normal tourist usually does not need meningococcal vaccinations. However, vaccines may be recommended to some tourists or other travellers on the basis of an individual risk assessment. The vaccines are paid for by the traveller themselves or by their employer. For details, see Matkailijan terveysopas (in finnish).
Matkailijan terveysopas