There is now a vaccine available to help protect against the spread of meningococcal B disease; this is the disease that has spread at colleges during the last several years. “Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious illness,” said Mindy Schwarz, Public Health Nurse for Lincoln County Health Department. “It can cause blood stream infections and swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. This can result in life changing disabilities, such as, loss of arms and legs or even death.”
Meningococcal disease is spread person to person through fluids from the lungs and throat. Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but youth and young adults are at increased risk.
New meningococcal B vaccine is given to people 10 years and older who are at increased risk due to an outbreak or have certain medical conditions. However, if you are between the ages of 16-23 years your provider may recommend this vaccine. All youth ages 11-12 continue to receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MVC4) with an additional dose after the age of 16. This vaccine however does not protect against the disease caused by meningococcal B, which is why new vaccine may be recommended.
Meningococcal B vaccine is given as two or three shots over a period of time. Please talk with your healthcare provider or call the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307 for more information on these vaccines.
Lincoln County Health Department reminds residents that we offer monthly immunization clinics by appointment only in Merrill (at the Health Department) every second Tuesday from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. and third Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. for those eligible, cost is $10.00. For more information on immunizations or to make an appointment, call the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307.