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Posts Tagged ‘meningitis vaccines’

March Madness Requires Both Shots To Defeat Meningococcal Disease

This guest post was provided by the National Meningitis Foundation (NMA) and first appeared on their Parents Who Protect blog.  

 

As our obsession with basketball’s March Madness has progressed to the Final Four, our efforts to encourage “both shots” in the fight against meningococcal disease remain at center court.

While March is a time when basketball steals the headlines, it’s also a time when meningococcal disease steals our children.  In fact, while meningococcal disease can strike at any time of year, the number of cases peaks in the winter and early spring. Unfortunately, for many National Meningitis Association (NMA) members, such as the member of Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.) and Together Educating About Meningitis (T.E.A.M), March is a time when we remember those we lost to meningococcal disease.

And there have been plenty of others who never got their “shot” at life.  

NMA March Madness Infogram

The higher incidence of meningococcal disease in March can be seen in the headlines of the last few years.

In March 2014, a Drexel University student died after visiting Princeton University, which was nearing the end of an outbreak that impacted eight students. In 2015, the University of Oregon was battling an outbreak of meningococcal disease with two additional cases appearing in March. In 2016, students at both Penn State and Rutgers University were hospitalized with meningococcal disease in March. This year there were cases on three college campuses by mid-March: Wake Forest UniversityOld Dominion University, and Oregon State University. There has also been an outbreak, at an elementary school in Virginia.

To rise to the challenge of this other recurring “March Madness”, we must increase our efforts to raise awareness of meningococcal disease and its prevention.

There are two kinds of vaccines that students need to be protected from meningococcal disease, the MenACWY vaccine and the MenB vaccine.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends meningococcal vaccination against serogroups A, C, W and Y for all children at 11-12 with a booster at age 16 (MenACWY).
  • CDC recommends permissive use of meningococcal vaccination against serogroup B at ages 16-23, with a preferred age of 16 to 18 years (MenB). (Click here for more information.)

It’s important that students remain vigilant and be able to recognize the symptoms of meningococcal  disease including headache, fever, stiff neck, and a purplish rash, so that you can promptly seek medical attention.

SOTI_Mening_FB.png

This March, let’s get on the ball and take “both shots” to prevent the other March Madness.

The National Meningitis Association is a nonprofit organization founded by parents whose children have died or live with permanent disabilities from meningococcal disease.  Their mission is to educate people about meningococcal disease and its prevention.  To stay informed about meningococcal disease and how to prevent it, follow The National Meningitis Association on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to subscribe to their Parents Who Protect blog.

 

 

I Am Only One, But Still I Am One

August 9, 2011 2 comments

Shot of Prevention will be highlighting various vaccine advocates in guest posts this week.  We would like to thank Frankie Milley, Founder and National Executive Director of Meningitis Angels, for submitting this post in honor of National Immunization Month.

Meningitis survivor Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”


August is National Immunization Month in America and I am once again drawn back to a time when my fellow elementary classmates were lined up in the school gym or cafeteria and given our shots or our sugar cube with the polio vaccine. I think back to a time before there were ACIP recommendations and/or mandates for middle school entry for adolescents for varicella, Tdap, meningitis, HPV and other life saving vaccines.

Mostly, I am drawn back to a time when my only child Ryan died from meningococcal meningitis long before these recommendations. Thus began my life long advocacy work to make sure all are protected from as many deadly, debilitating diseases as possible.

We have made great strides in protecting our children from deadly vaccine preventable diseases. The dedicated men and women of ACIP have worked hard to protect our kids. As organizations like Meningitis Angels, Every Child by Two, PKIDS, the Immunization Action Coalition, public heath departments and various others partner to ensure people are educated on, and protected from, deadly diseases, we find our work must not only continue, but strengthen. Read more…

Helping Oologah Oklahoma Recover from a Devastating Meningitis Outbreak

April 24, 2010 2 comments

By Frankie Milley, Meningitis Angels

Meningitis Angels was founded in memory of Ryan Wayne Milley, only child of Bob and Frankie Milley. Ryan died at the age of 18 from meningococcal meningitis. Frankie now leads a large network of “angels” who have been affected by meningitis and speak out to raise awareness about this disease.

 Just a little over a month ago I went to Oklahoma to help out the little town of Oologah during a serious outbreak of meningococcal meningitis with Angels Amanda and Abby at my side.  It was devastating to see what this horrific vaccine-preventable disease could do in just a few short hours. It brought back those horrible memories of watching my only child, my precious Ryan, lay dying on an ER table. The days were filled with hospital visits, funeral homes, heartbroken families, legislators, health department folks, vaccine clinics and a blizzard on the first day of spring.  

 This weekend I will once again return to this little town. Only this time, to celebrate World Meningitis Day at the same little school where life was taken just a few weeks ago. Angels, Leslie, Karisa, Harley and her mom Donna, and Angel family the Menards, will be there. I pray with our candlelight visual, special music, flower seeds and a balloon launch with messages of love that we can bring just a glimmer of peace, hope and joy to this little town.   

 Most of all I hope that there is increased awareness about the vaccines which prevent this disease so that no more lives will be sacrificed from this deadly vaccine preventable disease.

 Learn more about meningitis angels at www.meningitis-angels.org