Liberty County Health Department officials encourage soon-to-be high school graduates to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease, which causes meningitis.
Meningococcal disease is not common, but can be dangerous. The disease is spread by close contact with others like living in the same household or dorm. There are different kinds of meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be very serious. Viral meningitis is usually less serious, but can still cause illness.
"We encourage parents of students getting ready to graduate — especially those going off to college — to make sure their children have received the meningococcal vaccine and that all vaccinations are up-to-date," Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator Paige Lightsey, RN, said.
When children are 11 or 12 years old they should receive one dose of the vaccine, followed by a booster at age 16. Parents can check with the health department or their healthcare provider to get immunization records for their children or schedule a time to get the meningococcal vaccine.
For information on meningitis or the vaccine, go to cdc.gov/meningitis.