Print PDF Français


What is invasive meningococcal disease (IMD)?

It is a serious bacterial infection caused by the N. meningitidis bacteria, which can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases including:

  • meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), and
  • sepsis (blood poisoning)

Symptoms include:

  • Sudden fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Intense headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Light sensitivity

Consequences include:

  • Death
  • Coma
  • Long-term health problems (in up to 1 in 3 survivors)
    • - Hearing loss
    • - Neurologic disabilities
    • - Digit or limb amputations

It can be fatal within 24 hours of first symtoms

Even when the disease is treated early, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24–48 hours after symptoms start.

Who is at risk?

After children aged less than 1 year old, adolescents and young adults 15 to 19 years had the highest incidence of reported IMD in Canada between 2013 and 2017.

IMD has historically occurred in:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Camps
  • Other places where there are large numbers of teens and young adults

Healthy adolescents and young adults are more likely to carry N. meningitidis bacteria without any symptoms. Carriage rates of this IMD-causing bacteria are highest in adolescents (20–30%).

How often is IMD caused by serogroup B?

There are 5 serogroups of the N. meningitidis bacteria most commonly associated with IMD: A, C, W135, Y and B.

Serogroup B, which causes meningitis B, was associated with over half of the 548 IMD cases in Canada between 2013 and 2017.

Serogroups causing IMD in Canada between 2013 and 2017

How is meningitis B spread?

Like any IMD, meningitis B is spread through common adolescent and young-adult activities

Sharing cups,
drinks and

Up to 10% of people may carry the bacteria that can cause IMD.


TRUMENBA is a vaccine to help prevent meningitis B (IMD caused by N. meningitidis serogroup B bacteria), for use in people aged 10 through 25 years. IMD is a serious and sometimes life-threatening bacterial infection that can result in meningitis and sepsis.

How does it work?

TRUMENBA targets a protein found in over 95% of bacteria that cause meningitis B. It works by helping the body to make antibodies (the body's natural defences), which protect you or your child against this disease. These antibodies kill the bacteria that cause meningitis B.

If a vaccinated person comes into contact with the bacteria that cause this disease, their body is usually ready to destroy them.

How is it given?

Your healthcare professional will inject TRUMENBA into your upper arm muscle as a single injection of 0.5 mL, on two or three separate occasions.

A meningitis B vaccine is not part of routine programs. So it is up to you to ask your healthcare professional about TRUMENBA to help protect you or your child.

Understanding the different serogroup coverage of meningococcal meningitis vaccines

Even if you or your child have already been vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis, the vaccines may not have included serogroup B – the most common serogroup.

Not part of the routine immunization program

TRUMENBA Meningococcal B vaccine (Men-B)


of all reported IMD cases (among identified serogroups) in Canada between 2013 and 2017.

Part of the routine immunization program

Meningococcal Conjugate C vaccine (Men-C)


of all reported IMD cases (among identified serogroups) in Canada in 2015.

Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine (Men-ACWY) (in most provinces)


of all reported IMD cases (among identified serogroups) in Canada in 2011.

Already vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis?

Ask your healthcare professional about vaccination with TRUMENBA, for 10 to 25 year olds.

Although it is impossible to prevent people from sharing germs, VACCINATION is the best way to help prevent meningitis B.

Like all vaccines, TRUMENBA can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The most common side effects (reported in more than 1 in 10 people) after having TRUMENBA include headache, nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, joint pain, redness, swelling and pain at the injection site, chills and fatigue (tiredness). Other common side effects (in more than 1 in 100 people) after having TRUMENBA are vomiting and fever ≥38°C. Tell your healthcare professional as soon as possible if you or your child has a troublesome symptom or side effect not listed here or one that becomes bad enough to interfere with daily activities. This is not a complete list of side effects.

For more information, please consult the Product Monograph or by calling 1-800-463-6001.

Find a vaccination clinic offering the meningococcal B vaccine