Reviewed by David Derrer on February 06, 2014

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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP.

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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP: So the meningitis vaccine which protects against very serious illness, meningococcal meningitis is invasive disease and every year children and teenagers get seriously ill and even die from meningitis. So, we typically give the vaccine at age 11 and recently a booster dose was recommended again at age 16 We used to think the meningitis vaccine lasted for about 10 years. So, if you've got the vaccine at age 11, you would be protected through college. But more recent research has shown that immunity wears off over time. So the new recommendation is that a booster dose is given after five years. So, typically in my office, I would give the vaccine at age 11 and then again at age 16. So, if you have a teenager over age 16 or a college student, ask to your pediatrician about getting a booster dose of the meningitis vaccine.