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National Call-to-Action to Boost Meningitis Vaccination Rates Supported by Leading Health Organizations, Urges Minneapolis-St. Paul Parents to Vaccinate Preteens and Teens
Date:8/27/2012

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM) has joined 40 state and national health organizations across the country in support of the Voices of Meningitis "Boost Our Rates!" initiative, to help educate parents about the importance of meningococcal vaccination for their preteens and teens. With more than 40 percent of Minnesota teens currently unvaccinated against meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis, SNOM is bringing "Boost Our Rates!" to Minneapolis-St. Paul this back-to-school season.

Along with school nurses, community organizations and people who have been affected by meningitis are calling on parents to get their preteen and teen children vaccinated.  Public health officials recommend vaccination for preteens and teens starting at age 11 or 12 years, with a booster dose by 18 years of age to help protect them during the years when they are at greatest risk of infection. 

St. Paul resident James Dunn learned how quickly meningitis can strike when his daughter contracted the disease.  "One morning, Jenna felt ill and we took her to the hospital. Unfortunately by the time she was diagnosed it was too late for antibiotic treatment to be effective.  We lost our beautiful daughter within 18 hours of arriving at the hospital.  I want other parents to know that since meningitis can take a life so quickly, prevention is the best strategy – and vaccination is the best way to help prevent meningitis."

Vaccination is the most effective way to help prevent meningococcal meningitis, which may be rare but can kill an otherwise healthy child in just a single day. 

Back-to-school time is an especially important opportunity for parents to get their children vaccinated, as many activities that go hand-in-hand with preteens and teens returning to school, such as sharing drinking glasses and water bottles, kissing and being in close
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SOURCE School Nurse Organization of Minnesota
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