By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

Infants and children who are at particular risk of contracting the serious infection called meningitis should receive a vaccine at an early age and receive routine vaccinations through their college-aged years, according to an updated recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest organization of pediatricians in the United States.

The update is the first time the group has made a statement on "meningococcal" vaccines since 2011, and it notes that since its last update, three such vaccines have been approved for use in infants.  Though the guidelines don't urge the vaccines for every young child (the current standard of care is to begin vaccination at age 11), they do recommend early vaccination for children aged 2 months and older who have immune deficiencies, are missing spleens, or have sickle cell disease or other higher infection risks.

Image: Infant vaccine, via Shutterstock

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