Is the meningococcal vaccine really necessary?
Until a vaccine is available for babies, protecting adolescents and adults is the best way to keep this very high-risk group safe. "Although thousands of people still contract meningococcal disease each year, these rates are at an all-time low," says Paul Offit, MD, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and American Baby magazine advisory board member. "That's likely due to the increased use of this vaccine in children. And since the latest, more effective version became available in 2005, we should start to see those numbers drop even more as vaccination becomes more widespread."
Sources: Paul Offit, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and a member of the American Baby magazine advisory board member. Michael T. Brady, MD, the Vice Chair of the AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases. CDC sections on Meningococcal Vaccination. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Vaccine Education Center section on Meningococcal Vaccination. Immunization Action Coalition section on Meningococcal Vaccinations. Medline Plus: a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health section on Meningococcal Vaccination. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 299 No. 2, January 9/16 2008.
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