Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV) - An Important Step Towards Protecting Children From Meningococcal Meningitis!

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Remember the time when you and your spouse did the shopping for your soon-to-arrive bundle of joy? How your emotions were at an all-time high, your eyes gleamed with eagerness and hope, and the happiness of that precious arrival reflected in your smile. It sure is a priceless memory for all mothers, isn’t it?

Since then, time may have moved on, and our little ones might have grown up rapidly, yet the thing that hasn’t changed a bit is the fact that we still want the best for them! I would always get extra worried about getting my son vaccinated. But, when, I heard about the various dangerous diseases, that my son could catch, it made me more mature, and I decided to get him vaccinated with all the mandatory vaccines. In India, there are some mandatory vaccinations that every kid has to get, and there are some vaccinations that are left to the discretion of parents. In this article, I am going to talk about one such important vaccination named Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV), which falls under the latter category. This needs to be administered to the child to offer him protection from meningococcal meningitis.

Meningitis (generally known as दिमागी बुखार, in Hindi) is a result of the inflammation of the protective layer around the brain and spinal cord. An infection in the fluid present inside these areas of the body also causes the same. Most people know about viral meningitis, which is a less severe type of meningitis. In contrast, meningitis caused by bacteria can have drastic ill-effects on anyone, be it a child, teenager or even adult. Sometimes, it can also be fatal, especially if it is meningococcal meningitis.

This Is Why You Need To Protect Your Child From Meningococcal Meningitis

It is hard to diagnose the disease as its occurrence is rare, and its symptoms can easily be confused for normal viral infection. Some of its symptoms include sudden high fever, headache, pain in joints, vomiting, and drowsiness, etc. The disease can prove to be fatal within 24-48hrs of the surfacing of the symptoms. This holds true for both adults and children. 1 out of every 5 cases of meningococcal meningitis results in serious complications. About 15 percent of people who survive this disease are left with disabilities like deafness, brain damage, etc. These facts alone make it clear how fatal this disease can be for a child.

And perhaps the most disturbing fact about the disease is that it is a contagious disease, which spreads by exposure to the infected fluid through coughing, sneezing, sharing utensils, etc. Since children are mostly present in public spaces like school, parks, etc. they are more susceptible to catch the infection.

Protection From Meningococcal Meningitis With Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV):

Generally, in India and other countries, pneumococcal vaccination is administered, but it is not a comprehensive solution, especially if one talks about meningococcal meningitis. Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV), available in India, tackles three forms of acute meningitis caused by bacteria, thereby, giving comprehensive protection to the child and ensuring a healthy future for him. This vaccination can be given after a child turns 9-months old, along with the initial group of mandatory vaccinations (like MMR) that a child is supposed to get from the time of his birth till he turns 2.5-years old. If you’re thinking of getting this vaccine for your child, you should do so only after consulting his/her pediatrician.

I hope this information helped in spreading awareness about meningococcal meningitis and Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV). As parents, we want the best for our children. So do ask your doctor about Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV) and lead your child to a happy healthy life, as I have done.

Watch the video testimonial of Meningococcal Disease Survivor:

References:

1. WHO. Meningococcal meningitis. Accessed March 2019.
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/meningococcal-meningitis.

2. Meningitis Research Foundation. What are meningitis and septicemia? Accessed March 2019.
https://www.meningitis.org/meningitis/what-is-meningitis.

3. CDC. Meningococcal disease – Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications. Accessed February 2019.
https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/diagnosis-treatment.html

Author: Judy Morris

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of a public awareness initiative on meningitis supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

This article is meant to help create awareness and spread knowledge. Any decision regarding your health and child’s health should be taken after consultation with your doctor. Read my full disclosure here. While all efforts are made to keep articles updated, the speed of research in these fields mean the information often may change when more research knowledge is available. The blog or the author should be in no way held responsible in that case. Written after consultation and discussion with Dr. Abhijit Misra (MD Pediatrician – Healthwealthbridge board of advisors)

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