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Local School Nurses Unite Community to Combat Low Meningitis Vaccination Rates Among Preteens and Teens in San Diego
Date:9/28/2011

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Low rates of meningococcal vaccination among adolescents in California has triggered The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to join forces with the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO) to declare this week San Diego Meningitis Awareness Week. A national public health survey released last month shows that more than one third of adolescents in California have not been vaccinated against meningococcal disease, which is below the national public health goal of 80 percent vaccination coverage for this age group.  

Meningococcal disease, which includes meningitis, may be rare, but it's often devastating and can take the life of an otherwise healthy child in just a single day.  Preteens and teens are at greater risk for meningitis than other age groups, and are recommended for vaccination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This coalition of local community organizations is lending their support to the National Association of School Nurses' (NASN) Voices of Meningitis campaign, an initiative in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, in an effort to increase meningitis vaccination rates among preteens and teens in San Diego.  

"No child should lose their life or suffer devastating consequences as a result of a vaccine-preventable disease like meningitis," said Mark Sawyer, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease specialist, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Hospital.

"That's why we strongly encourage parents to get their preteens and teens vaccinated -- it is a safe and effective way to help prevent this serious disease," added Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County of San Diego Public Health Officer, San Diego HHSA.  

Parents Urged to Vaccinate Preteens and Teens

Parents should be aware that common behaviors among adolescent
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SOURCE National Association of School Nurses
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