Why Does Your Child Need Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccine?
When you are a first-time mother you are very particular about your child’s vaccinations and regular visits to a paediatrician. You remember all the important days to visit and make sure that you don’t skip the dates because of personal commitment. But, by the time, you have your second child you become a little lenient with all your schedules with the doctor. It is not like you ignore your child’s health, but you take it easy. The same happened to me too. Gradually, I started taking my children’s vaccination for granted. Either I used to forget the vaccination by a month or would check late to realise that the prescribed date had already gone. At times, I had delayed their vaccinations due to other family commitments.
But it was high time that my inner consciousness called me. I took the pledge to be aware of my child’s health and give all the vaccinations on time.
What is Meningococcal Meningitis?
I checked the vaccination card of both of my kids. This time I was only 10 days late. So, I took my kids to the paediatrician and their vaccinations were done.
On our visit, the paediatrician further talked about adding a vaccination called Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine to the chart. On enquiring about it, I understood that Meningococcal Meningitis, a bacterial form of meningitis, is a rare but potentially devastating bacterial infection. It commonly presents as an infection of the brain (meningitis) and/or infection of the blood (septicemia or blood poisoning). Even with therapy, 10-20% of the survivors develop long term consequences like hearing loss, brain damage or may even lead to amputations. (i)
Meningococcal Meningitis is a deadly disease that you can die from or you may be affected by life-long disability in a matter of hours.
The symptoms to look for
After our paediatrician had told us about this deadly disease, he further explained the symptoms and prevention we as parents can educate ourselves on. He told us that the most common symptoms are a stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting. A less common but even more severe (often fatal) form of meningococcal disease is meningococcal septicaemia. This shows itself with a haemorrhagic rash and rapid circulatory collapse. (i)
Prevention is always better than cure
The good news, dear parents, is that Meningococcal Meningitis is vaccine-preventable! This vaccination can be given to children who are as young as 9 months. It is the missing link for full protection against most common types of acute bacterial meningitis. (ii)
So, parents, what are you waiting for? Join the movement against Meningococcal Meningitis today!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views solely of the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative on meningitis supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information. This article is to create awareness and spread knowledge. Any decision regarding your health and child’s health should be done after consultation with your doctor. While all efforts are made to keep articles updated, the speed of research in these fields mean the information often may change when more research knowledge is available. Thoughts by Geethica or the authors should be in no way held responsible in that case.