Vaccination is the best defense against meningitis, but according to the CDC more than half of U.S. teens have not yet received the recommended second dose. One can contract meningitis at anytime, but teens and adults between 16 and 23 are more likely to contract meningitis. Doctor Todd Wolynn and meningitis survivor Blake Schuchardt are here to discuss the reasons to get vaccinated.
"Bacterial meningitis or meningococcal meningitis is a very serious disease and while rare, can go on from very mild symptoms to life threatening or even death within a matter of hours," said Dr. Wolynn.
Why is it so important to get vaccinated?
"Vaccination can protect you from this disease, so I tell families in my practice. It's as if you wear a seatbelt to protect yourself if God forbid you're in a car accident. That's the importance of getting vaccinated so you're protected from the disease."
You get you first dose around the age of 11 or 12, but its really important to get that second dose at age 16. To bring awareness there is the 16 Vaccine educational campaign?
"The 16 Vaccine Campaign from the National Meningitis Association is really trying to highlight that importance of getting that second dose."
Blake Schuchardt was directly affected by this disease.
"As a senior in high school, I contracted what I thought was the flu and after getting purple spots all over my body, a stiff neck, high fever...we went to the emergency room and it was determined that I did contract bacterial meningitis. I almost lost both legs, hands and ears. And I had to get a transplant due to kidney failure. At the time there was a vaccine available to me, but we were unaware of it. So now were really pushing the16vaccine.org campaign to get children vaccinated at the early ages of 11 and 12 but also that second dose as Doctor Wolynn said," said Blake.
For more information, visit the16vaccine.org website.