Meningitis occurs when meninges, the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord, become infected and inflamed. Meningococcal disease, caused by a type of bacterial meningitis, often is very severe. Infants and children under five years old and adolescents age 15 to 19 are most at risk. Meningococcal vaccine can help prevent this disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Adolescents ages 11 through 18 should get two doses of the vaccine, the first dose at age 11 or 12 and a booster dose at 16 (data suggests protection declines within five years).
- If they receive the first dose between ages 13 and 15, the booster should be given between ages 16 and 18.
- If the first dose is given after age 16, a booster is not needed.
- Others who should get the vaccine include younger children and adults with certain medical conditions and military recruits. Travelers also may need to get the vaccine, especially if they will be visiting sub-Saharan Africa.
See child and teen immunization schedules here.
To make an appointment for meningococcal immunization or to speak to a Public Health nurse, call 970-879-1632 in Steamboat Springs or 970-824-8233 in Craig (same day appointments often are available). Costs vary. Please bring your insurance card to your appointment. Low-cost routine immunizations are available to individuals who don't have insurance.