Improving How Vaccines Are Offered In Scotland
To improve how vaccinations are offered to you or your child, you may notice:
- you’re invited to a new location to receive your immunisations instead of your GP practice
- the health professional giving your immunisations changes
You’ll still receive clear information about the location, date and time of your appointment.
Is The Vaccine Safe
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is a safe and effective way to help protect young people from meningococcal disease. Meningococcal ACWY vaccination programs have been in place for adolescents in the UK since 2015 and in the US since 2005.
A single dose of meningococcal ACWY vaccine is very effective in providing protection against four types of meningococcal disease, A, C, W & Y.
The Meningitis B Vaccine Can Help Prevent This Deadly Illness
Weve told you the scary stuff, now heres the part where we give you some reassuring news. First, any form of meningococcal diseaseincluding meningitis Bis relatively rare, and incidents have been on the decline in the last few decades. The CDC says that in 2017, there were about 350 total cases of meningococcal disease reported. Thats 0.11 cases per 100,000 people.
The other good news is that you can reduce your childs risk of getting meningitis B by making sure they get the meningitis B vaccine. The reason that we vaccinate against things is that they are severe diseases, even if they occur rarely, Adam J. Ratner, M.D., director of the division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at NYU Langone and associate professor in both the department of Pediatrics and department of Microbiology at NYU Langone, tells SELF.
The meningitis B vaccine introduces your body to a specific part of the bacteria cell, combined with whats called an adjuvantan extra material that helps boost the effectiveness of the immune responseso your body learns to produce antibodies that target that bacteria. Your body does not see the whole bacteria, and so it’s impossible to get the infection from the vaccine itself, Dr. Vyas explains. Theres more than one meningitis B vaccine available, but both require at least two doses for maximum effectiveness.
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When To Get Vaccinated
The key to the meningitis vaccines is to make sure that your teen gets them at the right time. Your child may get the MCV4 vaccine if they are:
- Between 11 and 15 years old. After the initial MCV4 vaccine, your teen will get a booster shot after five years.
- After the age of 16. In this case, your teen wont need the booster shot. Important to note: Its better to get the vaccines earlier rather than later. This will help prevent meningitis during your teens high school years.
- First-year college students. This applies to those who havent received a diagnosis or missed their booster shots.
- Those deemed by a pediatrician to need extra protection. This is due to underlying illnesses. Examples include immune system disorders or a damaged spleen.
Technically, the MenB vaccine is approved for children over the age of 10. Your doctor might recommend a dose at a younger age if your child has immune system deficiencies. But MenB is usually taken around the age of 16. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends MenB shots for teens ages 16 to 18. However, it may be given to young adults up to 23 years old.
What Are Neisseria Meningitidis
Neisseria meningitidis are bacteria that may be found normally in peoples throats and noses. About 5 to 15% of people carry these bacteria and do not get sick from them. These people may be referred to as colonized. Colonized people only have bacteria for a short time. Usually, the bacteria go away and these people may have increased resistance to infection in the future. In rare cases, the bacteria may get into the blood and go to the tissue surrounding the spinal cord and brain, causing severe illness. It is not known why this occurs in certain people and not in others. A recent upper respiratory illness may be a contributing factor.
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Meningococcal Vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide
For health professionals
Latest partial content update :
: The chapter has been updated to align with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Statement : The Use of Bivalent Factor H Binding Protein Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine for the Prevention of Meningococcal B Disease.
MenB-fHBP vaccine may be considered as an option for use in individuals 10 years of age and older in situations when a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine should be offered:
MenB-fHBP vaccine may be considered as an option for individuals 1025 years of age who are not at higher risk of meningococcal disease than the general population, but who wish to reduce their risk of invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease.
Last complete chapter revision: May 2015
The Cons Of Using Titer Tests
Keep in mind that there are a few downsides do doing these tests instead of simply repeating the vaccines. For one, there is the cost of the tests, which may not be covered by insurance. Also, you may need a new letter each time your child changes schools, goes to a new camp, goes off to college, etc.
And while your child may not need another shot, the problem with this strategy is that if they have low levels of antibodies, in addition to the stick for the blood test, they will still need the shots.
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Meningococcal Disease Changed Sebs Life Forever But It Doesnt Have To Change Your Child’s
Seb was 22 when he was struck down by meningococcal disease. He lost his right leg, left foot, and eight fingers. Seb contracted meningococcal W, a strain of the disease students in year 10 can now be vaccinated against.
It happened two years ago now, it was just like any other day.
I went for my morning run but then around lunch time I started feeling really ill.
As the day went on, bruises started appearing on my back.
I had trouble standing up, so I was rushed to hospital.
It turned out to be meningococcal disease.
I was in a coma on life support for ten days. I spent another 186 days in hospital after that.
I lost my right leg, left foot, and Ive only got two functioning fingers.
I also had complete organ failure with my kidneys.
I contracted meningococcal W, a strain of the disease I didnt know I could be vaccinated against.
Its been tough for mum and dad too. They obviously feel strongly about young people being vaccinated after seeing what I went through.
And its the only way to protect your kids.
I still have my moments, but Im trying to get my life back on track.
Im living on the coast, going through rehab, and Im slowly getting back into being a barber.
To parents I would say, dont think it cant happen to your kids.
To help protect your child, sign and return the consent form so they can receive their free meningococcal ACWY vaccine. It could save their life.
What Are The Risk Factors For Bacterial Meningitis
Experts don’t always know why meningitis happens. Some people get it when their immune system is weak or they’ve recently been sick. A head injury may also increase risk.
Bacterial meningitis is more common in infants under 1 year of age and people ages 16 to 21. College students living in dorms or other close quarters are at increased risk. Also at risk are adults with certain medical problems, including those without a spleen.
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Heres Who Should Consider Getting The Meningitis B Vaccine
The CDC currently states that anyone 10 and up should get the vaccine in the following circumstances:
The CDC specifically calls out that it can be beneficial for people who are 16 to 23especially 16 to 18to get vaccinated against meningitis B.
If youre hoping to reduce your childs risk of getting meningitis B and other forms of meningococcal disease, talk to their doctor about vaccination. Now you have the information, you can decide how to best protect your childand help them protect themselves.
What Causes Meningococcal Disease
In Australia, the most common types of meningococcal bacteria are called B, W and Y. These bacteria live in the nose or throat, and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, sharing eating and drinking utensils and kissing.
It is not easy to pass the bacteria on, because they cannot survive outside the human body for long periods of time. The only way they are passed from person to person is if you live in the same house or have intimate contact, like deep kissing.
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Do I Have To Get The Meningitis Vaccination
- Entering students 22 years of age or older by the first day of class for the semester are exempt.
- Students taking online classes only should submit an Online Enrollment Only Exemption Request form
- If your physician recommends that for health reasons the student not receive the immunization, the student should submit a Vaccine Requirement Form and submit a note from the physician. The signed note should be on either office letterhead or on prescription paper.
- If for reasons of conscience, including religious belief you are declining the vaccination, students should submit a completed Vaccine Requirement Form and an Affidavit from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Initiate your request to TDSHS well before your intended orientation date. It may take several weeks to receive your form during peak times.
Schedule For Children Who Are More Likely To Get Meningitis
Younger kids will need a vaccine if they’re at a greater risk of getting meningitis because they:
- Have complement component deficiency, a rare immune system disease
- Have spleen damage or had their spleen removed
- Live in an area that had a meningitis outbreak
- Take drugs that affect their immune system
- Travel to a country where meningitis is common
For these cases, doctors strongly recommend MenACWY for kids ages 2 months to 10 years. The number of doses and boosters your child needs depends on their health, age, and how long they stay at risk for the disease. For example, a child with spleen damage will be at risk longer than someone who travels for a week to a country where meningitis is common. Check with your doctor to find out what your child needs.
Doctors also recommend that kids ages 10 and older with these risks get the standard doses of MenB.
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What Causes Bacterial Meningitis
Bacteria or a virus can cause meningitis. Viral meningitis is more common, but bacterial meningitis is more serious. It can lead to brain damage, paralysis, or stroke. In some cases, it can be fatal.
Many different types of bacteria can cause meningitis. Vaccines are available that target many of these bacteria. For this reason, it’s important to know what’s causing meningitis. Even though all types affect the same area of the body, they can have different outcomes and need different treatments.
What Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a bacterium. It can cause meningitis, which is an infection of the brain and spinal cord, and it can also cause blood infections. The infection can cause death or lifelong disability.
About 375 people get the disease each year, and about 10 to 15 out of 100 people infected with meningococcal disease die. Of those who survive, up to one out of five will have permanent disabilities, such as deafness, brain damage, loss of limbs, or seizures.
A person with meningococcal disease may become seriously ill very quickly. Antibiotics can treat meningococcal infections, but often cant be given soon enough to help.
Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is most common in infants less than 1 year of age. Teens are less likely to be infected than infants, but disease levels increase in adolescence starting around age 11, and peak around age 19 years.
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What To Do If You Lose Your Vaccine Shot Records
Your child has had all or most of their vaccines, but you can’t find their vaccine records. Your doctor can’t find them either. What do you do? Does he need to start getting shots all over again? Unfortunately, this happens much more often than you would think.
Youre Better To Be Safe Than Sorry: Video
Mark and Lisa Gallaghers daughter Letitia died of meningococcal disease in 2012. Since then, theyve been working to raise awareness about the disease and the vaccines available that protect against it. Read more
In the space of 5 hours shed gone from a headache and fever, to nothing they could do.
- refusal to feed
- a rash consisting of reddish-purple pin-prick spots or bruises.
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What Are The Risks From Meningococcal Vaccine
Most people have mild side effects from the vaccine, such as redness or pain where the shot was given. A vaccine, like any medicine, may cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. This risk is extremely small. Getting the meningococcal vaccine is much safer than getting the disease.
You can learn more on the Vaccine Information Statements for meningococcal ACWY and meningococcal B.
First A Recap On What Causes Covid
COVID-19 vaccine side effects are either a physical manifestation of your bodys immune response which is the case for most people or an allergic reaction, said Jesse Erasmus, acting assistant professor in the department of microbiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Erasmus said the side effects you have from a shot typically depend on the type of vaccine technology thats used to create the immunization and how those components interact with your immune system.
In terms of the coronavirus shots, all the vaccines that are currently in emergency use authorization have very similar side effect profiles, said Colleen Kelley, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and principal investigator for Moderna and Novavax Phase 3 vaccine clinical trials at the Ponce de Leon Center clinical research site in Atlanta.
Kelley thinks the COVID-19 shot side effects mainly stem from the body responding to the spike protein the vaccine introduces to the immune system, which helps it recognize the spike protein on the coronavirus should it enter the body.
When it comes to allergic reactions to the vaccine, which are rare, a hypothesis for mRNA vaccines is that people may be allergic to a component called polyethylene glycol, a common food additive, Erasmus said.
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Why Do Some People Have Worse Side Effects Than Others
Based on peoples experiences, it appears that some have worse reactions to the shot than others. But scientifically there arent any confirmed reasons for this yet.
There arent really any distinguishing factors that would predispose one individual having more side effects versus the other, said Richard Dang, a pharmacist and assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Southern California. The only thing weve seen in the clinical data so far is that younger individuals seem to experience side effects at higher rates than older individuals, and we see that in the real world as well.
There have been reported cases in which those who previously had the virus endured harsher side effects after they received their vaccines.
Anecdotally, it does appear that people who may have had COVID-19 before their vaccine do tend to have those longer duration of symptoms, Kelley added. But were still gathering additional scientific data to really support this.
Who Should Get The Meningococcal Vaccine
- This vaccine is provided free to infants as part of their routine immunizations. The vaccine is given as a series of two doses. The first is given at 2 months of age, and the second at 12 months.
- This vaccine is also free for people:
- Born before 2002, who are 24 years of age and under who did not get a dose of vaccine on or after their 10th birthday.
- Who have been in close contact with someone with meningococcal type C disease.
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How Can Meningococcal Disease Be Prevented
You can reduce risk for meningococcal disease by avoiding fluids from the nose or mouth, especially:
- Get vaccinated
- Avoid droplets from sneezing and coughing
- Avoid kissing
- Do not share eating utensils or drink from the same beverage container
- Do not smoke, but if you do smoke, do not share cigarettes or cannabis
- Wash hands well and often
There is some evidence that behaviors such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition and drinking alcohol may increase the risk of contracting this disease.
When To Get Medical Help
You should get medical advice as soon as possible if you’re concerned that you or your child could have meningitis.
Trust your instincts and do not wait until a rash develops.
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A& E immediately if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.
Call NHS 111 or your GP surgery for advice if you’re not sure if it’s anything serious or you think you may have been exposed to someone with meningitis.
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