Bacterial meningitis (bak-teer-ee-al men-in-gi-tis) is a serious infection of the brain and the fluid around the brain. It is a life-threatening infection. People who have a cochlear implant are at higher risk for bacterial meningitis. Although this risk is small, it is important for children and adults with a cochlear implant to be vaccinated.

Cochlear implant users and their families should know that vaccines against the bacteria that cause meningitis are available. These vaccines strengthen the body's ability to protect against the common causes of bacterial meningitis.

Further information is available from this CDC handout:

 Schedule of Pneumo Vaccines:

Vaccine Timeline

Follow-up Care

Vaccinations do not eliminate the risk of meningitis. Children and adults with cochlear implants who develop a middle ear infection (otitis media) or a fever of uncertain cause should see their doctor. Infections in a child or an adult with a cochlear implant should be taken seriously. Untreated middle ear and other infections may spread to produce meningitis.

In addition, if an ear with a cochlear implant develops fluid that leaks from the ear canal, or has unusual ear symptoms or a watery fluid from the nose, it is important to have that ear checked by a cochlear implant surgeon.