Don’t Forget - New Meningococcal Vaccine Required for the Upcoming School YearAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month. Parents can do a number of things to ensure a healthy future for their child. One of the most important actions parents can take is to make sure their children are up to date on their vaccines. Following the recommended immunization schedule provides the best protection from serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.
Getting vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health. Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.
Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.
A new law in Ohio requires a vaccination against meningitis for students entering the 7th and 12th grades. The requirement starts with the 2016-2017 school year.
Ohio 7th Graders
- meningococcal (serogroups A, C, W and Y) vaccine
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine
Ohio 12th Graders
- second dose of meningococcal vaccine
- must be administered on or after the 16th birthday (If the first dose of meningococcal vaccine was administered after the 16th birthday, a second dose is not required.)
About Meningoccal Disease
- most commonly affects adolescents and young adults
- can cause death within hours (can be fatal in 24 to 48 hours)
- can be prevented by vaccination
- symptoms are similar to flu
- transmissible through contact with nasal secretions or the saliva of an infected person
How to Prevent
- cover sneezes & coughs
- don’t share eating utensils, drinking glasses or straws, or water bottles
Parents and guardians can learn more about meningococcal disease by talking to a healthcare provider or local health department about immunization and other ways to prevent this terrible and deadly disease. You can also learn more by visiting the National Meningitis Association at www.nmaus.org.