Question for Betty.
 

I have been seeing commercials for adult meningitis vaccines.  Should I get one and if so, how often should a person get one?

 
Betty's Answer.
 

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness, infecting the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.  Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is most common in infants less than one year of age and people with certain medical conditions, such as lack of a spleen.  College freshmen who live in dormitories and teenagers 15-19 have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease.

A dose of Meningoccal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), prevents 4 types of the disease, and is the preferred vaccine for people 2 through 55 years of age.  MPSV4 is the only meningococcal vaccine licensed for people older than 55.

Other adults recommend for the vaccine are:

Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to the meningoccoal bacteria; U. S. military recruits;anyone traveling to, or living in, a part of the world where meningococcal disease is common, such as parts of Africa; anyone who has a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been removed. 

People 2 years of age and older should get 1 dose.

To learn more visit the CDC's meningococcal disease website at www.cdc.gov/meningitis/about/faq.html

For travel health info: www.cdc.gov/travel