top of page


Active ingredients:


Pentavalent meningococcal vaccine


Active ingredients:

Recombinant proteins from Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B and polysaccharides (sugars) from serotypes A, C, W, and Y.


Sugars from 4 serotypes of meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, and Y) are conjugated (attached) to tetanus toxoid (not toxin) in order to improve the immune response to the sugar.

The serotype B component uses recombinant proteins: the information for how to make specific proteins is inserted into the genome of Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is a species of bacteria that naturally live in the intestines and are generally harmless. The E. coli produce the proteins, which are used as the active ingredients in the vaccine. Because these are proteins, not whole bacteria, you cannot get meningitis B from the vaccine.

Inactive ingredients:
Ingredients based on a 0.5mL dose

Adjuvants: strengthen the immune response to the vaccine


Relevant Terms

  • Adjuvant: a compound added to some vaccines to strengthen the immune response

  • Antibody: a protein made by the immune system in response to a foreign particle (antigen). These proteins circulate in the blood and help defend the body against the substance.  

  • Antigen: This is any substance that triggers the immune system to create antibodies. For example, allergens such as pollen are antigens. 

  • Conjugate: An antigen is attached to a protein in order to improve the protection the vaccine provides.

  • Genome: all of the genetic information in a cell.

  • Serotype/serogroup: a group of strains within a species that share a particular type of surface structure.

  • Strain: Within a particular species there can be a lot of genetic diversity. A strain refers to one member of that species. 

  • Toxoid: an inactive version of a toxin produced by a bacterium. The body is able to make antitoxin without being exposed to the actual toxin. Toxoids are not toxic.


Last updated: Apr. 21, 2024

bottom of page