We would like to share with you information about the vaccines we recommend for teenagers and young adults to prevent meningitis (meningococcal disease).
Meningococcal bacteria are commonly carried in the nose and throat, and do not usually cause disease. Carriage rates are highest in older teenagers and young adults. The bacteria can be transferred from person to person through contact with saliva. In rare cases, the bacteria can invade and rapidly lead to severe disease.
If meningococcal bacteria pass into the blood, the disease usually progresses very quickly. A person with meningococcal disease may develop meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain), septicaemia (blood infection) and/or pneumonia (lung infection).
One to two people out of every ten who survive meningococcal disease have long term complications, such as extensive skin scarring, amputation of limbs and extremities, hearing loss, seizures, or brain injury.
Even when the disease is identified and treated early 1–2 people in 10 will die (The Immunisation Advisory Centre, 2020).
Funded Menactra is available for individuals aged 13–25 years in their first year of living in a boarding school hostel, tertiary education hall of residence, military barracks, or prison.
Further information on these vaccines and meningococcal disease can be found at The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) website: https://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/meningococcal-disease
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to receive a vaccine.