CHICAGO, July 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cases of meningitis tend to peak between ages 17-21 — a time when many teens are in communal living settings, such as college dormitories, where meningitis tends to spread. Members of the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA) House of Delegates voted today to support a booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) at age 16 for those who received the initial dose recommended at ages 11-12.
Studies show the antibody found in MCV4 protects less than half of recipients five years after teens received their initial vaccine. According to an online survey by the AOA, approximately 90% of parents say it is important for their children to be vaccinated for meningitis but just about 61% say their children are.
"Although it's not a common disease, meningitis can lead to more serious complications or even death," says Stanley E. Grogg, DO, an AOA board-certified pediatrician and a liaison for the AOA to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices. "Vaccinations are a great tool in disease prevention, and a booster dose of the meningitis vaccine at age 16 can help further protect teens at a time when they are most susceptible to getting this disease."
Resources for Parents and Teens
The AOA offers information about vaccinations, including national recommendations for vaccinations and health articles about vaccines for teens, at www.osteopathic.org/teenvaccines.
About the House of Delegates
The AOA's House of Delegates, comprised of more than 500 delegates representing osteopathic state medical associations, specialty societies, interns, residents and students from throughout the country, meets annually in July to set organizational policies and elect new officers.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 100,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.
SOURCE American Osteopathic Association