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Vaccinate your child against meningitis
With school back in session, Washington school nurses have an important message for parents: if you haven't had your preteens and teens vaccinated against meningococcal disease yet, the time to do so is now!
As part of the National Association of School Nurses' Voices of Meningitis campaign, in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, we want parents to know that vaccination can help protect teens from this serious disease, and it is especially important during the school year.
For preteens and teens, many activities that go hand-in-hand with school can increase their risk of meningococcal disease, which can cause meningitis and take a child's life in one day. Sharing water bottles or eating utensils at lunch, kissing and even staying up late make them more vulnerable.
A recent survey found that nearly 82 percent of preteens and teens participate in these activities, increasing their risk for meningococcal disease.
Parents can help protect their children by getting them vaccinated. Meningococcal vaccination is recommended beginning at age 11, with a booster dose by age 18; however, in Washington, roughly a third of adolescents have not yet been vaccinated.
We urge parents to schedule a vaccination appointment as soon as possible.
– Lynne Grubb, School Nurses Organization of Washington