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The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends a second dose of the meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) for adolescents. Adolescents are advised to receive their first dose of MCV4 at age 11 and their second dose at age 16. If they have already received their first dose at age 16 or older, a second dose is not needed. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases has approved these recommendations.
"Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream and meninges, a thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord. The second dose of the vaccine ensures that adolescents are protected through the highest risk period, the adolescent years, and will prevent most cases of meningococcal disease," said Dr. Jershonda Hartsfield, a Sharp-affiliated pediatrician at Sharp Rees-Stealy Otay Ranch.
"Meningitis is mainly spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions through coughing, kissing and sneezing. Sometimes, however, the bacteria that causes meningitis has spread to other people who have had prolonged contact with a patient with meningitis. Fortunately, the vaccine is 85 to 100 percent effective in preventing the four most prevalent strains of meningitis, which cause about 70 percent of the disease in the United States. Adolescents can receive the vaccine when they come in for their yearly physical exam," Dr. Hartsfield stated.
For More Information
For assistance in selecting a Sharp Rees-Stealy family medicine or pediatric doctor, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or search for a Sharp Rees-Stealy family medicine doctor or pediatrician.
To schedule or cancel an appointment with a Sharp Rees-Stealy doctor, visit mySharp or call 858-499-2600. mySharp allows you to view a snapshot of your medical history, including past immunizations, documented allergies and prescribed medications.
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