Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids
We Know Kids
Willows Pediatrics News
May 31, 2011

Meningococcal Vaccine

(Menactra– The “meningitis vaccine” – MCV4): New Two Dose Schedule

The meningococcal vaccine provides vital protection against infections from bacteria called menigococcus, which can cause mengitis, septic shock, and death.  The current recommendation has been to vaccinate all children at age 11 – 12 years, and the vaccine is now required by the State of Connecticut for entry to seventh grade.

Recently, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Center for Disease Control, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, recommend a routine booster dose 4 to 5 years after the first dose to ensure continued immunity against this serious infection.   The booster dose is recommended at 16 years of age, following the initial dose at age 11 through 12 years.

In order to follow this recommendation, and protect our adolescent patients, we will offer a second dose of meningococcal vaccine to all adolescents at their 16 year check up.  If your child received the first meningococcal vaccine after age 11 -12 years, he or she can still receive the booster dose four years after the first dose.

As with most new vaccine recommendations, we do not know yet how insurance companies will cover the booster dose of Menactra.   We will submit the claim for this vaccine to your insurance company, but we must also ask a parent to sign a waiver indicating that you will cover the cost of the vaccine in the event that your insurance company does not cover it at the time it was administered.  Please do not hesitate to ask your physician, PA, or nurse if you have any questions.