Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Thuli | 2011-09-09


Meningococcal vaccine?

Hi Paed

I tend to be ''quite curious about medical matters and in browsing the net came across a brilliant site called Voices of Meningitis. The stories there are very touching - and very alarming, with some parents having lost their kids in 24 hours. Now when I think about it I am pretty sure my 8yr old was vaccinated as a child, but I don''t remember the actual incident. Would this have been done as part of the normal regimen of vaccines she had fomr 0-5 yrs? How do I make quadruply sure she was vaccinated? I do know I have not missed any vaccines she required, would the meningococcal vaccine definitely have been one of these? If so was it a once-off or is she meant to go back at some point? I see those in the 15-24 age bracket are also at increased risk for this disease. Thank you, advice appreciated. By the way when she was born she had early onset Group B Strep and was in ICU on massive life support less than 12 hours after birth. It came with a risk of meningitis, she had a spinal tap at just a few days old. It really is an awful bacterium this thing. So is Group B Strep though. I only took my child home 15 days after she was born. I always worry there is too little awareness around it. Sorry if I''m waffling, I just really take child health issues seriously.

Expert's Reply



You are welcome.This is an important question. Babies in South Africa do not routinely get the meningcoccal vaccine. Babies in the UK are vaccinated against Meningococcus C. Here babies do get vaccinated against two other bacterial causes of severe meningitis with the pneumococcal and with the haemophilus B vaccinations.Boosters for these vaccinations are given at 12 and 18 months.

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