Source: Enid News and Eagle (OK)
Health officials in Garfield County, Okla., are calling on parents to have their teenagers vaccinated against bacterial meningitis. “Although cases of bacterial meningitis, also known as meningococcal disease, are rare, they are very dangerous and can result in brain damage, hearing loss and learning problems,” said Pat Fowler, administrative director of Garfield County Health Department. “This type of bacterial infection may also lead to the loss of an arm, leg or other parts of the body.” A press release from the county health department states that the “MCV4 meningococcal vaccine is the best way to protect teens from getting bacterial meningitis as the shot offers protection against bacteria that cause four types of meningococcal disease.” Preteens should receive their first MCV4 dose at age 11 or 12 years, “before they become teens and their risk is higher,” according to health department officials. Teens who first receive the MCV4 vaccine at age 13, 14, or 15 should still receive the booster recommended at age 16, they said. Also, the meningococcal vaccine is required in Oklahoma for students who are enrolling for the first time in colleges and post-high school educational programs and who will live in dormitories or student housing on campus.