CDC: Second Dose of Meningitis Vaccine Recommended

Panel says teens should get meningitis booster, as vaccine doesn't last as long as thought
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices panel has recommended that 16-year-olds get a meningitis booster shot, as the vaccine does not appear to last as long as previously thought.

In 2007 the committee recommended that the meningitis vaccine be given at the age of 11 or 12 years and thought it would be effective for 10 years, but data presented at a recent panel meeting showed that the vaccine is effective for less than five years. Therefore, the panel opted to recommend a booster shot for 16-year-olds.

Some at the meeting questioned whether the recommendation was necessary due to historically low levels of bacterial meningitis, but the National Meningitis Association supports the panel's recommendation. The CDC is not obligated to adopt the advisory panel's recommendations but typically does.

According to a National Meningitis Association statement, "this is a good public health decision that will protect our children from meningococcal disease."

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