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CDC Recommends New Meningitis Vaccine

The next time a teenager or college-bound student heads to the doctor’s office, a new vaccine will be recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics are recommending a new meningitis vaccine. Meningococcal meningitis kills ten percent of those infected and permanently disables another 15 percent. It’s deadliest in healthy adolescents […]

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The next time a teenager or college-bound student heads to the doctor’s office, a new vaccine will be recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics are recommending a new meningitis vaccine.

Meningococcal meningitis kills ten percent of those infected and permanently disables another 15 percent. It’s deadliest in healthy adolescents where 20 percent die if infected. The infection works fast.

Doctor Melanie Mouzoon is the Managing Physician for Immunizations Practices at Kelsey-Seybold. A vaccine has existed since the 1970’s but was usually given only in cases of outbreak. Mouzoon says it wasn’t widely distributed because it did not provide lasting immunity to the bacteria which lives in people’s noses. The new vaccine provides immunity up to a decade against four strains.

Mouzoon says the vaccine protects against 50 to 70 percent of meningitis cases in the United States. The new vaccine is recommended for college and high school freshmen. Mouzoon says it’ll also be offered during routine adolescent check-ups at 11 and 12 years old. Mouzoon says the new vaccine is made up of parts of two older vaccines.

Mouzoon says the vaccine is not urgent and patients can wait until the next routine appointment.

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