Beginning Sept. 1, 2016, New York state will require students entering grades seven (age 11 or 12) and twelve (age 16 or older) to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school.
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that most often strikes preteens, teens, young adults, and infants with certain medical conditions. The disease can lead to meningitis (inflammation of the lining covering the brain and spinal cord) and serious bloodstream infections. Symptoms may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, a stiff neck and a rash. Long-term, the disease can result in permanent brain damage, hearing loss, organ failure, loss of arms or legs, or chronic nervous system problems. It is treatable with antibiotics, but each year causes approximately 2,500 infections and 300 deaths in the United States.
Learn more about meningococcal disease and the vaccine at the links below:
- Meningococcal disease information (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Meningococcal disease fact sheet (New York State Department of Health)
- Childhood and Adolescent Immunizations (New York State Department of Health)
- Recommended vaccinations for children aged 11-19 years (New York State Department of Health)
- State law requiring immunizations against meningococcal disease (New York State Assembly)