preventing meningococcal meningitis; new New York school requirements
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Not so many years ago, a young girl returning to the United States of America from the middle east, developed the worst headache she had ever had. She also developed fever and neck stiffness. There were many physicians on board her flight who easily diagnosed her condition as bacterial meningitis. An ambulance met the flight at JFK airport and brought her to a local hospital where the condition was confirmed; and she was appropriately treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately she died within the next 24 hours despite receiving expert medical care. Meningococcal meningitis is a fulminant disease; those who mount an inflammatory response and develop meningitis are frequently the lucky ones. Others develop sepsis without meningitis, and go on to develop multiple organ failure due to sepsis. Many die.
This should not occur in the greatest and most advanced country in the world. Children in the United States of America should not die from vaccine preventable illnesses.
It has been some years since the ACIP and AAP have recommended the first dose of meningococcal meningitis quadrivalent vaccine at 11-12 years of age with a second dose at 16-18 years, before college entry. People still, unfortunately, believe the lay press who tout side effects of vaccine "toxins," effectively withholding life sustaining medicines from the public.
The NYC Department of Health has now established new guidelines for 7th grade entry, beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, requiring a single dose of MCV4 vaccine for entry. The NYC Department of Health has now also mandated a second dose prior to 12th grade entry as a requirement for school entry. Please join with me in applauding this life saving action.
For those of you who have delayed vaccination with MCV 4; please note that you still have plenty of time to be vaccinated prior to September 2016.
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PREVENTING MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS; NEW NYC SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS