According to the recently released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Immunization Survey - Teen, many teens are inadequately protected from meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) disease. CDC recommends that a child receive one dose of MCV4 vaccine at age 11 or 12 years, followed by a second (or booster) vaccination at age 16, as the protection provided by the first dose wanes within five years in many teens. But the CDC survey indicated less than one-third of 17-year-olds had received the important second dose to help boost their protection against this devastating illness at a time in life when they are at greatest risk for meningococcal disease.

In response to these extremely low immunization rates for MCV4 booster doses, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, has launched a new initiative, “MCV4: You’re Not Done If You Give Just One; Give 2 Doses to Strengthen Protection.” The core of this initiative is a selection of free resources to assist your practice in addressing this MCV4 booster gap.

Be sure to visit the initiative’s website, www.give2mcv4.org to download and use the wide array of materials available to assist you. Tools such as fact sheets, talking points, an overview of adolescent immunization recommendations, Q&As and other great resources are available for healthcare professionals, as well as handouts to share with patients and their parents.

Another way to improve MCV4 rates is to immunize at every opportunity. Adolescents do make office visits, but opportunities are often missed to provide age-appropriate vaccines that are due at that time. Consider every patient encounter a potential vaccine visit, starting with well visits and annual physicals. Immunization opportunities also arise during sports and camp physicals; acute care and follow-up visits; visits for care of chronic illness; and visits for annual influenza immunization.

Don’t let one of your adolescent patients be inadequately protected. Remember – You’re not done if you give just one!

Resources

Information from IAC

Information from CDC

Meningococcal Vaccine for Preteens and Teens – FAQs about meningococcal vaccination (for patients and their parents)

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years – United States, 2014 – 2014 NIS-Teen data

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.