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Health Tip: Do I Need the Meningococcal Vaccine?

Yes, if you're about to live in a college dorm.

(HealthDay News) -- The meningococcal vaccine helps prevent meningitis and sepsis (infection of the blood), which can lead to severe illness and death. People aged 16 through 21 are most likely to acquire meningococcal disease, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says.

The agency says you probably should be vaccinated:

  • If you live in a dorm, or plan to live in one soon.
  • If you are a military recruit.
  • If you have a damaged spleen, or the organ has been removed.
  • If you have a terminal complement deficiency.
  • If you are a microbiologist who is frequently exposed to the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.
  • If you live in or plan to travel to a place where meningococcal infection is common.
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