FACT #1: IMD is fast-moving and can be fatal within just 24 hours.

Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. One of the serious forms of IMD is meningitis, a dangerous infection of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The early flu-like symptoms of the infection, which can include fever, headache and neck stiffness, can make it hard to distinguish meningococcal meningitis from other less serious diseases. You can become ill very quickly, and death can occur as rapidly as 24 to 48 hours after symptoms appear.

In Canada, IMD is endemic and there are approximately 200 cases every year. Although people can fully recover, in 11% to 19% of survivors, meningococcal disease may result in permanent disabilities, including:
  • Hearing loss
  • Neurological damage
  • Paralysis
  • Limb loss
Man wearing a prosthetic leg
Long-term complications may be as high as 60% following meningococcal septic shock, a potential outcome of IMD. In spite of the availability of treatments in developed countries, IMD still remains a life-threatening infection with potentially devastating outcomes.

Approximately 10% of people who contract meningococcal disease die.

FACT #2: IMD is contagious and passed on through contact with saliva.

Anyone can contract IMD, but certain factors can put you at higher risk of infection, such as having multiple sex partners, travelling to higher risk areas, and being in crowded venues like nightclubs, bars, and bath houses.

Because IMD can be passed on through direct contact with an infected person’s saliva, high-risk activities include:
  • Smoking (marijuana, cigarettes, or hookah)
  • Close contact with an infected person (sharing beverages or cigarettes, kissing, coughing)
  • Staying in group settings (such as dorms, nightclubs, or shelters) for a prolonged period of time

FACT #3: Men who have sex with men are at higher risk of contracting IMD.

Although anyone can contract IMD, during an outbreak in New York City in 2012, men who have sex with men were 52 times more likely to contract IMD than other male residents 18-64 years of age.

IMD outbreaks in men who have sex with men have been observed in major cities around the world, including Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Berlin, and Paris. The following map highlights the outcomes of recent outbreaks among men who have sex with men in North America*:

Map of IMD Outbreaks in North America among men who have sex with men

* Sexual orientation is not routinely collected in meningococcal case reports, therefore numbers may be underreported.

FACT #4: You can protect yourself by getting vaccinated.

Although you may have been vaccinated against meningococcal disease strain C, you are still vulnerable to other vaccine-preventable strains including A, B, Y, and W-135.
MENACTRA® is a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine that can help protect you against 4 IMD strains: A, C, Y, and W-135.

IMD vaccines comparison table

MENACTRA® can be used in people who have already been vaccinated against strain C, broadening coverage to include protection against strains A, Y, and W-135, and boosting protection against strain C. Persons aged 2 to 55 years should be given a single dose. Persons with underlying medical conditions, such as HIV, asplenia, or antibody deficiencies, should consult with their doctor regarding the appropriate dosing schedule.

MENACTRA® has over 10 years of real-world experience and 75 million doses distributed worldwide.
Ask your healthcare provider how MENACTRA® can help protect you from IMD.

Menactra vaccine

If you would like to learn more about IMD, you can also visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

Video testimonials from IMD survivors

IMD can be devastating. Watch this video with personal stories from Canadians who faced the disease.

Ask your healthcare provider how MENACTRA® can help protect you from IMD.

If you do not have a family doctor, the Ministry of Health or a provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons offers an online directory of physicians that can help you find a doctor. Click here to learn more.

You can also go to a walk-in medical clinic where you can usually see a doctor without an appointment.

Safety Information:

MENACTRA® is a vaccine for the prevention of meningococcal meningitis and other invasive meningococcal diseases caused by Neisseria meningitidis (serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135) in persons 9 months through 55 years old. MENACTRA® is not indicated for the prevention of invasive meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B. MENACTRA® is not to be used for the treatment of meningococcal infections and cannot prevent complications or death after the onset of the disease. A recent large study found no evidence of increased Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) risk associated with the use of MENACTRA®. Persons previously diagnosed with GBS may be at increased risk of GBS following receipt of MENACTRA®. As with any vaccine, MENACTRA® may not protect 100% of vaccinated individuals. Adverse reactions and side effects may occur. The most common side effects in adolescents and adults (11-55 years old) are pain, redness and induration at the injection site, headache, fatigue and malaise. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if MENACTRA® is right for you or a family member.

Consult with your private insurance provider for MENACTRA® coverage information. Drug Identification Number (DIN): 02279924.

This site is intended for Canadian residents only. For complete product information, visit

MENACTRA® is a registered trademark of Sanofi Pasteur.
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284-043 02/16

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ASC DTC reviewed  RxD member