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Menactra (meningococcal vaccine)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has recommended routine immunization with Menactra, a meningococcal vaccine for certain age groups. The three age groups are: 

  • Young adolescents (11-12 years of age)
  • Adolescents at high school entry or 15 years of age (whichever comes first) for those who have not previously been vaccinated
  • Incoming college freshman living in dormitories

The recommendations will help prevent meningococcal disease, a potentially fatal bacterial infection. Although rare, meningococcal disease is dangerous because the disease progresses rapidly, and within hours of the onset of symptoms cause permanent disability or death.

Meningococcal disease is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in U.S. toddlers, adolescents, adolescents and young adults. Symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion, and a rash may appear.

Lifestyle factors thought to contribute to the disease include direct contact with an infected person, e.g. exchanging saliva through kissing; crowded living conditions, e.g. dormitories; and active or passive smoking. Vaccination is the best method of preventing meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal infections can be treated with drugs such as penicillin. About one in every ten people who get the disease die from it, and many others are affected for life.

That is why preventing the disease through the use of meningococcal vaccine is important for the high-risk groups.

We highly recommend Menactra for those patients who meet the quidelines and will have it available in our office. If your child does not have an upcoming appointment, we would strongly recommend calling our office for an appointment.     

However, we advise our patients to check with their insurance company regarding the coverage of this vaccine as some plans are not covering it.   In these cases, the cost will be the responsibility of the patient/parent.

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