CHICAGO, July 22 (UPI) -- The American Osteopathic Association says a booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine should be given to 16-year-olds after an initial dose at ages 11-12.
Stanley E. Grogg, a board-certified pediatrician and liaison for the association to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, said meningitis tends to peak in the 17-21 age range -- a time when many teens are in communal living settings, such as college dormitories or military barracks.
"Although it's not a common disease, meningitis can lead to more serious complications or even death," Grogg said in a statement. "Vaccinations are a great tool in disease prevention, and a booster dose of the meningitis vaccine at age 16 can help further protect teens at a time when they are most susceptible to getting this disease."
A survey by the association found about 90 percent of U.S. parents said it is important for their children to be vaccinated for meningitis, but just about 61 percent said their children were vaccinated.
The association represents more than 100,000 osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medical students.