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Immunization Schedule, Children (cont.)

Meningococcal Vaccines

Meningococcal infections are most common in close living conditions (such as college dormitories, military barracks, or child-care centers). The infection may invade the bloodstream or the brain (meningitis). Symptoms come on rapidly and can sometimes be quite severe (leading to shock, coma, or death). Meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria is difficult to distinguish from that of other bacteria that causes meningitis, making the disease more difficult to recognize and treat. Routine immunization in children is not recommended because the infection is rare.

  • Types of meningococcal vaccine:

  • Who gets the vaccine:

    • Children aged 2 years or older in high-risk groups (those who have had their spleen removed, those with suppressed immune system)

    • Adolescents aged 11-12 years and unvaccinated adolescents entering high school

    • College students, military recruits, laboratory workers exposed to meningococcal vaccine components, those traveling to hyperendemic or epidemic areas

  • Side effects: Pain, swelling and redness at site of injection may occur one to two days following immunization.

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