Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. Meningococcal meningitis, or bacterial meningitis, is rare but when it strikes it is very serious. The fatality rate for meningococcal disease is 10% but this is higher in adolescents and young adults. Survivors can experience hearing loss, limb or finger and toe amputation, organ failure and brain injury. Fortunately, bacterial meningitis can be avoided through vaccination.
Recommended vaccine schedule:
- Two doses of MCV4 are recommended for adolescents 11 through 18 years of age: the first dose at 11 or 12 years of age, with a booster dose at age 16.
- Adolescents in this age group with HIV infection should get three doses: 2 doses 2 months apart at 11 or 12 years, plus a booster at age 16.
- If the first dose (or series) is given between 13 and 15 years of age, the booster should be given between 16 and 18. If the first dose (or series) is given after the 16th birthday, a booster is not needed.
For more information on meningococcal vaccination, see the Vaccine Information Statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
TMA Resources and Communications on Meningitis