New Law Will Require Students to Receive Meningitis Vaccine

Katie Mayberry Hauser of Warrenville knows first hand the dangerous affects of Meningitis. While in college the disease almost claimed her life.

"What I say to another vaccine is that this is a disease that is so deadly from the time of onset it can kill you," said Hauser.

Under the new law going into effect in January students entering the 6th and 12th grade at public, private and parochial schools will be required to receive a Meningitis vaccine.

"Even with appropriated antibiotic treatment one in ten people who have this particular infection will die," said Swedish America Health System Pediatrician Dr. Kendra Hall.

The most at-risk groups of children are those under one year and young adults ages 16 to 21. Dr. Hall said she believes the vaccine is a great idea especially for teens.

"They're in sports, they're very active with their peer groups, they very often share drinks, or they share salivary secretions in other ways kissing and those types of things. It’s very easy to pass infection from person to person," explained Dr. Hall.

Even if those infected survive 20 to 30 percent of people who recover will have long term problems like mental retardation and seizures.

"If there is a vaccine out there that can save people's lives and save them from going through what me and my family went through, there's not a doubt in my mind that people should be vaccinated," said Mayberry Hauser.

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