National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Applauds CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for its Decision to Expand Adolescent Meningococcal Immunization Recommendation

New Meningococcal Vaccination Recommendations Seek To Protect Adolescents

11- 18 Years Old

Jun 27, 2007, 01:00 ET from National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

    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 ( or CDC(
 Web sites.
     Founded in 1973, NFID is a non-profit organization dedicated to public
 and professional educational programs about infectious diseases.
     Contact: Jennifer Corrigan
               (732) 382-8898

SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases