As I began to write this post, I received a phone call from my friend I carpool with. K is acting moody and quite (not her normal boisterous self), and says she wants to come home instead of playing with her friend. Nothing specific, but it sounds like my baby girl isn’t feeling like herself. It is the call every mother dreads, the call that her baby isn’t well.
While I am sure K’s symptoms are the result of something minor – probably the beginnings of a cold. All moms live in fear of a simple fever becoming something worse. Luckily, we live in a day and age where vaccines mean that our little ones will never have to face such terrible threats like measles, mumps, rubella and even chicken pox. But while I was amazed (again) at the number of shots my youngest received at her two-month appointment, not all vaccines available are currently recommend by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the routine vaccination schedule.
One disease that is preventable if vaccinated is Meningococcal Meningitis, and the Meningitis Angles organization is working to urge the CDC to recommend vaccinating infants against this deadly disease.
Meningococcal Disease is among the leading causes of preventable in death in the US. More staggering is the fact that approximately 50-60% of these cases are vaccine preventable. While the vaccine is currently recommended for teens and preteens, infants are particularly at risk. Sadly, 1 in 16 infants who contract this disease will die and 1 in 6 will suffer limb amputations, paralysis, seizures, strokes, hearing loss, blindness, organ damage, severe scarring, brain damage and more.
The following PSA shares more information about the devastating illness.
While the CDC is seeking public input on whether infants two years and younger should be immunized against meningitis, you can help by signing the Meningitis Angels petition. Voice your opinion to support protecting infants from meningitis and urge the CDC to recommend that pediatricians immunize infants against meningococcal disease.
As with all vaccinations and medications, talk to your pediatrician to see if this vaccination is right for your infant. I’m adding it to my list of questions for S’s four-month check up.
Disclosure – I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central and Meningitis Angels. This campaign was made possible in part through support provided by Novartis Vaccines. A small donation to a charity of my choice was made in my name fromMom Central as a thank-you for participating. All opinions in this posting are 100% my own.