Meningitis vaccine recommended for teens

A health advisory committee advised this week that teens should receive meningitis booster vaccines.

The advisory committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation because it believes that the vaccine may not last as long as previously thought, reports.

In 2007, the advisory committee suggested that meningitis vaccine, which was then usually given to college freshmen, be offered to 11 and 12 year olds. At that time, CDC officials believed the vaccine was effective for at least 10 years.

Information presented at the panel’s meeting this week, however, showed that the vaccine was effective for less than five years, according to This evidence prompted the panel to recommend that teens should get a booster shot at 16.

Although the CDC is not bound to the advisory committee recommendations, they usually follow them.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration official, however, has questioned the recommendation.

The FDA's Norman Baylor told that he believes more studies about the safety and effectiveness of a second dose of the vaccine are needed.

Following the advisory committees vote, officials with the National Meningitis Association announced support for the new recommendations.

“We support the decision to maintain meningococcal immunization at age 11-12 and to add a booster dose to provide increased prevention of disease among adolescents throughout their high-risk years,” a Meningitis Association spokesperson told “This is a good public health decision that will protect our children from meningococcal disease.”