BETHESDA, Md., June 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National
Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) applauds and strongly supports
new recommendations made today by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to
expand the meningococcal disease immunization recommendations to encompass
a broad range of adolescents. The ACIP now recommends meningococcal
vaccination for all adolescents 11-18 years of age.
The vote to expand the CDC's previous meningococcal immunization
recommendations took place during today's meeting of the ACIP in Atlanta,
Ga. The decision was based upon the disease epidemiology data showing an
increased risk for disease among adolescents and young adults 11-18 years
of age and increased availability of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
Meningococcal disease is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis
in U.S. toddlers, adolescents and young adults. Symptoms include high
fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and a
rash may appear. The disease progresses quickly and can lead to death or
permanent disability, including hearing loss, brain damage, and limb
amputations within hours of first symptoms. Vaccination is the best means
of preventing meningococcal disease.
The expanded recommendations will replace the previous immunization
recommendations calling for immunization only at the preadolescent doctor's
visit, or for those previously not immunized, at high school entry or for
college freshmen planning to live in a dormitory. Immunization is now
recommended for all adolescents 11-18 years of age.
"This new vaccination approach is a positive step toward protecting an
increased number of adolescents from this serious and potentially deadly
bacterial infection," stated Carol Baker, MD, NFID's president, and
professor of pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine. "NFID supports ACIP's
decision to broaden the age cohorts recommended for meningococcal
immunization and believes these recommendations will help drastically
reduce the incidence of meningococcal disease among this age group and save
In 2005, NFID launched an educational initiative called S.T.O.P.
Meningitis! (Share. Teach. Outreach. Protect.) in collaboration with the
nation's leading medical and advocacy organizations to increase clinician
and consumer awareness of meningococcal disease prevention. Through this
program, NFID will provide clinicians and other health care professionals
with the tools and resources needed to educate patients and parents about
the new recommendations and encourage immunization.
For more information about meningococcal disease or the new
recommendations, please visit the NFID (www.nfid.org) or CDC(www.cdc.gov)
Founded in 1973, NFID is a non-profit organization dedicated to public
and professional educational programs about infectious diseases.
Contact: Jennifer Corrigan
SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases