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NFID Expands Educational Efforts To Reach Racial, Ethnic Families About Dangers of Meningitis
Date:12/2/2008

Newly Published Call to Action Highlights Need to Reduce Disparities in Meningococcal Vaccination; Increase Educational Efforts

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 2/PRNewswire/ --The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases' (NFID) S.T.O.P. (Share. Teach. Outreach. Protect.) Meningitis! coalition, composed of many of the nation's leading medical and advocacy organizations, recently issued a Call to Action to improve adolescent meningococcal vaccination rates and to reduce immunization disparities among racial and ethnic groups and other underserved populations.

"Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection that progresses rapidly and often leads to death or long-term health consequences," said Susan J. Rehm, MD, NFID Medical Director and Vice Chair, Department of Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic. "To ensure adolescents across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups are protected from this devastating disease, increased efforts are needed to reduce disparities and educate families about the benefits of meningococcal vaccination."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends meningococcal vaccination for all adolescents 11-18 years of age and college freshmen living in dormitories (only one vaccination is needed). While recent CDC data shows an increase in the number of teens receiving meningococcal vaccination (up from 11.7% in 2006 to 32.4% in 2007), immunization rates still remain low with only a third of pre-teens and teens having been vaccinated. These data show there is a considerable amount of work to do in helping teens and their parents understand the dangers of meningococcal disease and the importance of vaccination.

A recent survey conducted by GfK Roper on behalf of NFID to assess meningococcal disease awareness among African American, Hispanic and Caucasian parents of children ages 11 to 21 showed only
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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