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Meningococcal meningitis booster vaccines are now a must for students entering the 12th grade or those turning 17 years old effective August 1, 2020, according to Immunize NC.

Immunize NC is an organization maintained by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services that monitor and enacts the immunization program and directives of the local government.

Watauga Democrats shares that this is beside from the meningitis vaccine that requires only one dosage to students or children in their 12 years of age or those entering the seventh grade. The current necessary vaccine, meningococcal meningitis vaccine, is effective against four types of the bacteria group: A, C, W, and Y.

Communications Manager, Kelly Haight, of the NCDHHS relates that this vaccine and immunization plan is in the works since May of 2014. This vaccination "harmonizes" with CDC's requirements and directives.

CDC gives priority and importance to immunize young adults with MenACWY booster dose to those who are diagnosed with the Human Immuno Virus or HIV, first-year college students who live in residence halls, and military recruits. Living environment and living conditions contribute to the factors that enable the disease to fall unto people. HPV vaccines are also recommended to be administered.

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What is Meningococcal Meningitis and Meningitis?

Immunize N.C. gave importance to the vaccination for MenACWY because this type of meningitis strand is often misdiagnosed and may pass off as the common flu or influenza.

"Symptoms may include sudden high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion. Symptoms may resemble the flu but progress rapidly and can often cause death within two days..." said Immunize N.C.

CDC provides a technical definition of the disease; meningitis is "an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling." Meningitis varies from being Bacterial, Viral, Fungal, Parasitic, Amebic, and Non-infectious.

On the other hand, WHO defines meningococcal meningitis as a more advanced version of the disease, bacterial and becomes an infection directed to the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

This disease has a high fatality rate of 50 percent if left untreated and undiagnosed. It is advised for patients with this disease to have early detection and antibiotic treatment to save lives and reduce the complications of those affected.

Importance of Immunization

California Immunization Coalition or CIC, through PR News Wire, reminds parents to have their children undergo the necessary immunization processes whether or not it is required by state law. CIC explains that even though distance learning may be in effect as the school year begins, specific requirements in the state require parents to immunize their children.

CIC collated these websites and link that contains information regarding vaccination and immunization programs during this period. Check them out below.

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Written by Isaiah Alonzo

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