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New Initiative About Giving Second Dose of Meningococcal (MCV4)

September 2015

Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC’s) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
New Initiative About Giving Second Dose of Meningococcal (MCV4)
Published September 2015
Information presented in this article may have changed since the original publication date. For the most current immunization recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, visit
According to the recently released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Immunization Survey – Teen, many teens are inadequately protected from meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) disease. CDC recommends that a child receive one dose of MCV4 vaccine at age 11 or 12 years, followed by a second (or booster) vaccination at age 16, as the protection provided by the first dose wanes within five years in many teens. But the CDC survey indicated less than one-third of 17-year-olds had received the important second dose to help boost their protection against this devastating illness at a time in life when they are at greatest risk for meningococcal disease.
In response to these extremely low immunization rates for MCV4 booster doses, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, has launched a new initiative, “MCV4: You’re Not Done If You Give Just One; Give 2 Doses to Strengthen Protection.” The core of this initiative is a selection of free resources to assist your practice in addressing this MCV4 booster gap.
Be sure to visit the initiative’s website, to download and use the wide array of materials available to assist you. Tools such as fact sheets, talking points, an overview of adolescent immunization recommendations, Q&As and other great resources are available for healthcare professionals, as well as handouts to share with patients and their parents.
Another way to improve MCV4 rates is to immunize at every opportunity. Adolescents do make office visits, but opportunities are often missed to provide age-appropriate vaccines that are due at that time. Consider every patient encounter a potential vaccine visit, starting with well visits and annual physicals. Immunization opportunities also arise during sports and camp physicals; acute care and follow-up visits; visits for care of chronic illness; and visits for annual influenza immunization.
Don’t let one of your adolescent patients be inadequately protected. Remember – You’re not done if you give just one!
Resources website
MCV4: You’re Not Done If You Give Just One; Give 2 Doses to Strengthen Protection — Fact sheet and call to action
Recommending MCV4: What to Say and How to Say It
Vaccinate Adolescents: Think 1…2…3 – Overview of adolescent immunization recommendations, including Tdap, MCV4, HVP and annual influenza vaccines
Top 10 Ways to Improve Adolescent Immunization Rates
Information from IAC
Meningococcal: Questions and Answers — Information about the Disease and Vaccines
Meningococcal Disease – Collection of resources for teen patients and their parents, including websites, brochures, personal stories, videos, photos and more
Information from CDC
Meningococcal Vaccine for Preteens and Teens – FAQs about meningococcal vaccination (for patients and their parents)
National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years – United States, 2014 – 2014 NIS-Teen data


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