July 27, 2015 5:58 AM
In an effort to boost meningitis protection for young Ohioans, state lawmakers have added the meningococcal vaccine to a list of shots “required” for schoolchildren.
Public health leaders and pediatricians are urging parents to vaccinate their kids now, although the law won’t take effect until the 2016-17 school year. Ohio allows parents who object to vaccines to opt out.
As things stand, about 69 percent of young people in Ohio are vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, vaccine coverage is close to 78 percent.
The Ohio Department of Health is working on guidance for when the vaccine should be required. The department’s recommendations typically fall in line with federal guidelines, which call for an initial vaccine at 11 or 12 years old and a booster at 16.
The second shot “really helps boost the immune response before they go off to college,” said Dr. Sarah Denny, an emergency medicine specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/07/27/vaccine-re...