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As your children head back to school this fall, don’t forget their shots. While the flu shot has received a great amount of publicity, doctors are beginning to worry that shots for bacterial meningitis will fall by the wayside.

Bacterial meningitis seems harmless at first—it begins with common flu-like systems such as fever, chills, and vomiting. However, the infection can cause massive devastation within just one day, including death. Those at highest risk of contracting the infection are tweens, teens and college freshman—thus, the importance of vaccinating your middle, high school, and college-aged children.

Two years ago, the federal government recommended that every adolescent receive the meningococcal meningitis vaccination. Luckily, many parents heeded the recommendations: 40% of tweens and teens are vaccinated. However, about 15% of people who do catch the infection die, and another 1 in 5 suffer brain damage, deafness or amputated limbs. Since the government recommendations, doctors have witnessed a decrease in the number of people infected by bacterial meningitis, with only about 2,000 Americans affected each year. What they don’t want is for parents to stop having their children vaccinated; just when the rates are hitting historic lows. Luckily, many colleges now require all freshmen to be vaccinated. However, the Centers for Disease Control urge parents to vaccinate their children at age 11. Unfortunately, many middle school-aged children will miss receiving the vaccination if they aren’t involved in school sports, which has spurred many states to pass legislation to make the meningococcal shot a requirement to enter certain grades.

Please vaccinate your child against this fast-acting infection. A simple shot could save them from brain damage, physical deformities or deafness, possibly even saving their life.


  1. Gravatar for MUSAorg

    The Meningitis Foundation of America (MFA), a national organization, would like the public and media to know that information is available regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of meningitis. MFA was founded by parents whose children were affected by meningitis. In addition to supporting vaccines and other means of preventing meningitis, the MFA provides information to educate the public and medical professionals so that the early diagnosis, treatment and, most important, prevention of meningitis, will save lives. Meningitis is a dangerous and sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord that can leave survivors with serious life-long physical problems such as deafness, brain damage and other disabilities, meningitis can sometimes result in loss of limbs. MFA would like to be considered as a news resource for the disease. For further information, visit the MFA website at

    MFA is proud to announce the new C.I.S.S. Container Identification Scratch System

    When we participate in sporting events or mingle at social gatherings it is possible to lose track of our water bottles and/or beverage cans, especially those served in containers that are very similar or identical to a container from which you are drinking. This carries the risk of transmitting an illness, such as meningitis or the common cold or flu. The Container Identification Scratch System, or C.I.S.S., is a fun way to make sure you always know your drink from others. Use it at sporting events or at family gatherings and reduce the waste from forgotten drinks. Simply scratch your number from the C.I.S.S. label and identify your drink. For more information please contact Bob Gold at and

    Thank you,

    Meningitis Foundation of America

    P O Box 1818

    El Mirage AZ 85335

    480 270 2652

    Join Hands against Meningitis

  2. Gravatar for Meningitis Angels
    Meningitis Angels

    I am the mother of an only child, Ryan, who died from of meningococcal meningitis and the founder and executive director of a national organization, Meningitis Angels.

    We offer a great support network for those affected by meningitis and encourage you to join with us to raise awareness at

    What is meningitis?

    Meningitis is a dangerous and sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord that can leave survivors with serious life-long physical problems such as, organ failure, blindness, deafness, loss of limbs, severe seizures, brain damage and other disabilities.

    You should also understand meningococcemia and sepsis.

    Signs and Symptoms

    The early signs of meningitis and blood poisoning which could improve detection of the disease and save lives are unrelenting fever, leg pain, cold hands and feet and abnormal skin color can develop within (12 hours) after infection and long before the more classic signs of the illness such as a rash, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and impaired consciousness, debilitation or death.

    What parents and students should know:

    According to ACIP/CDC children ages (11) years through college freshmen should be vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis.

    Infants and toddlers should be vaccinated against pneumococcal and HIB meningitis.

    Those children in daycare and those of American Indian, Eskimo and African American heritage are at a higher risk for some forms of meningitis.

    There are no vaccines to prevent viral meningitis.

    Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics, Sound Advice on Vaccines:

    Join our Face Book Cause

  3. Gravatar for Megan Bowen

    I am confused about the vaccination. I am under the impression that vaccinations only provide protection from viruses. In the state of California, this is one of our State Standards that we have to teach our students. I thought antibiotics helped to kill bacteria and vaccines provided an autoimmune response to specific viruses. Please send me more information because I would like to clarify what is found in our textbooks. Thank you very much.

  4. Gravatar for Devon Glass

    Hi Megan,

    To answer your question, it is possible to vaccinate against a bacteria. According to the CDC, there is a Meningitis vaccine. This page,, also has alot more information about Meningitis if you are interested. As for the discussion of bacterial vaccines, see this page,, for more information. I hope this was helpful.

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