‘Against meningitis vaccine should be repeated every 5-6 years’

by time news

“Meningitis is an invasive bacterial disease. If we made a ranking of the infectious diseases that scare the most, apart from Covid-19, it would be in first place compared to all the others. But in addition to children, from two months of age upwards , adolescents must be protected, the subjects most at risk of contracting and transmitting the disease. For them, vaccines against meningitis must be repeated every 5-6 years “. Deputy Secretary of the Federation of Family Pediatricians (Fimp) of Liguria, one of the promoters of the conference “Meningitis at 360 °”, which was held in recent days in the Ligurian capital.

“The aim of the meeting – explains Conforti – to emphasize the need to include the calls for meningitis every 5-6 years in the national vaccination calendars. Firstly, because vaccinations do not cover all ages of life, and then because after 5-6 years antibodies drop and, when the disease manifests itself, our immunological memory does not have time to develop new antibodies given the very short incubation period “.

Being an invasive bacterial disease, “parents are predisposed to listen and accept the recommendation to vaccinate – continues Conforti – because the disease affects the whole organism but in particular a ‘noble’ organ such as the central nervous system. However, vaccinations during Covid have been reduced, not so much those of the primary cycle (recommended during the first year of life) as the vaccinations of the following years, which affect children and adolescents. For geneticists and experts who deal with the economic damage of non-vaccination (each vaccine must be safe, effective and able to save public resources for other purposes; also for this reason it is necessary to invest in health prevention) the generation of adolescents of today it has been defined as the ‘lost generation’ in the vaccination field. It’s a strong term but it gives the idea. ”

“If our adolescents do not get vaccinated – Conforti warns – we will have generations more at risk of contracting a serious infectious disease at a later age. Moreover, at this age, thanks to socialization situations, the carriers of the disease are greater”.

Convincing parents to vaccinate their children at this historic time is a daunting task for pediatricians. “In scientific literature – underlines the expert – it is shown that if the vaccination chain and times are reduced, coverage increases. I always repeat to families that they should take advantage of health reports from pediatricians or general practitioners to immunize their children. A practice that we find only in some situations, unfortunately it does not happen in others. It certainly does not help the law of the vaccination obligation, in fact dismantled in recent years. Not surprisingly, children of no-vax parents also attend compulsory school. In kindergartens, however, non-compliance with the vaccination obligation should preclude unvaccinated children from attending ”.

With the arrival of the pandemic, however, “in kindergartens, more attention is paid to colds but not to vaccination certification. In my city, Genoa, the parent makes the self-certification but in the end no one checks. The obligation is therefore not necessary, if anything, incentives such as the green pass are needed. Convincing the no vax is difficult but you can act in adolescence, try to favor the dialogue between adolescent and pediatrician because the legislation in some cases allows the young person to decide, as regards his health, in full autonomy even if a minor “, Conforti concludes.

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