World Meningitis Day is April 24th. Have you been vaccinated yet?
Meningitis is a serious disease that can lead to loss of hearing, learning disabilities, brain damages, or death. According to the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations, 1.7 million people contract meningitis every year and 170,000 meningitis-related fatalities occur. Fortunately, prevention is possible! A vaccine exists that can greatly reduce a person's chances of experiencing the disease. Is the vaccination right for you or your family?
In most cases, infants and young children do not need the vaccine. There are exceptions for kids who who travel or live in high-risk areas, or those with other medical conditions that make them especially vulnerable. In these situations, the vaccine may be given at nine months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ideal age for the meningitis vaccine is 11 or 12 years old, with a booster shot at 16. The majority of meningitis cases occur between the ages of 16 and 21.
Since meningitis is not as common among those over 21, the vaccine is not recommended for everyone. There are certain situations and environments that may increase an adult's chance of contracting meningitis. If you meet the following criteria, ask your doctor about getting vaccinated.
- You live in a college dorm.
- You live in close military quarters.
- You are traveling or living in an area where meningitis is more widespread.
- You have a damaged or removed spleen.
- You have terminal complement deficiency.
- You work in microbiology and are often exposed to Neisseria meningitidis.
Our Consult-a-Nurse® service can provide you with a free physician referral and help you make an appointment to get your meningitis vaccine. Give us a call any time at 1-888-256-7692. Our lines are always open.