If you are the parent of a student aged 11 to 18 years old, North Thurston Public Schools wants to be sure you are aware that your student, and particularly adolescents entering high school and/or college, are at increased risk for a potentially fatal bacterial infection called meningococcal disease. This bacterial infection can lead to meningitis, which causes swelling of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or to a serious blood infection.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends meningococcal vaccination at:
- 11 to 12 years old during the pre-adolescent doctor's visit, or
- High school entry, or for
- College freshmen living in dormitories.
Up to 83 percent of meningococcal infections among this age group are potentially vaccine-preventable. Vaccination is safe and effective, and can protect individuals against four of the five serogroups (A, C, Y, and W-135) of N. meningitides, the bacterium that causes meningococcal disease.
We encourage you and your adolescent or college-bound child to learn more about this disease and to speak with your physician about vaccination.