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How are CVS Pharmacy® and MinuteClinic® different?

At Pharmacy, vaccinations for adolescents through seniors are administered by a certified immunizing pharmacist. Age and state restrictions apply. No appointment necessary.

At MinuteClinic, vaccinations for children (18 months and older in most states) through seniors are administered by a medical provider. View wait times and schedule a visit online, or walk-in anytime.

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The early signs of meningitis can resemble the flu. That's why prevention is critical.


Availability: CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic

About the Flu

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord. While most people with meningitis recover, it can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities. A vaccination is the most effective way to protect yourself against certain types of meningitis.

What about the vaccine?

There are two kinds in the U.S.:

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) for ages 2 through 55
  • Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4) for ages 2 and older including older than 55

Both vaccines can prevent 4 types of meningococcal disease.

What does "Most insurance accepted" mean?

It means we accept over 5,000 health plans for vaccinations. Your out-of-pocket cost, if any, will depend on your specific insurance plan.

Who should get vaccinated?

  • College freshmen living in dormitories
  • All adolescents at age 11–12 with a booster at age 16
  • U.S. military recruits
  • Anyone traveling to, or living in, a part of the world where meningococcal disease is common
  • Anyone who has a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been removed
  • Anyone who has persistent complement component deficiency (an immune system disorder)
  • People who might be exposed to meningitis during an outbreak or the bacteria during laboratory work

Who should NOT get vaccinated or should wait?

  • Anyone who has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of MCV4 or MPSV4 vaccine or diphtheria vaccine
  • Anyone who has a severe allergy to any vaccine component
  • Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover before receiving the vaccine
  • Anyone with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Meningitis vaccine side effects

The most common side effects are mild and include redness or pain at the site of the vaccination, both of which usually resolve within 1 or 2 days. A small percentage will develop a mild fever. Serious reactions are rare.

Like to learn more?

See All Vaccinations


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply. See Immunization Scheduler for details.

**In select states. Visit for details.