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National Call-to-Action to Boost Meningitis Vaccination Rates Supported by Leading Health Organizations, Urges Nashville Parents to Vaccinate Preteens and Teens
Date:8/15/2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Association of School Nurses (TASN) has joined more than 30 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 only 50.6 percent of Tennessee teens currently vaccinated against meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis, the TASN is bringing "Boost Our Rates!" to Nashville this back-to-school season.

Along with school nurses, community organizations and Nashville-area residents who have been affected by meningitis are also 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. 

"I learned about meningitis the worst way possible," said Nashville-area resident Marsha Buchanan. "My two sons were hospitalized with meningitis and my older boy had to have his legs amputated to stop the spread of the disease. Today they are healthy but the experience has always stayed with me, and I hope that my story will motivate other parents to help protect their own children by getting them vaccinated."

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 proximity for long periods of time, can increase their risk for contracting meningitis.

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SOURCE Tennessee Association of School Nurses
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