SAHM Position & Statement Papers
- Although rates of meningococcal disease have remained low in the United States since 2000, the severity of the disease, rapidity with which it strikes, and significant sequelae remain compelling reasons to employ all means possible to prevent it. Meningococcal disease has a bimodal peak distribution in the United States with its highest incidence rates in infants and adolescents aged 16 years and older. The 2005 recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were intended to protect youth entering adolescence including individuals 16–21 years of age, the ages at which meningococcal disease rates peak for children and young adults.
- Pertussis rates in the United States have been rising slowly since a nadir in 1976, and case rates have increased sharply in recent years. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported over 25,000 cases in 2005, experts estimate that because of missed diagnoses, the actual burden of pertussis may be as high as 1 to 3 million cases per year . In 2004, 38% of reported cases were among the 10- to-19-year-old age group .
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide, causing genital warts and nearly all cases of cervical cancer. On June 8, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved a three-dose HPV vaccine for use in females 9 to 26 years of age. The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing infection with HPV types 16 and 18 (which cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers) as well as types 6 and 11 (which cause >90% of genital warts). As a prophylactic vaccine, it is most effective when administered before the onset of sexual activity.
- New vaccines are being targeted to help protect the adolescent population from disease. The Society for Adolescent Medicine strongly urges compliance with adolescent vaccination recommendations provided by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. These vaccines will significantly impact the health and well-being of the adolescent population. To enhance vaccination compliance and access to prevention health care and promotion, the Society supports linking vaccination to the three distinct comprehensive preventive health care visits already recommended by multiple organizations during early, middle, and late adolescence.
- The incidence of meningococcal disease peaks during the neonatal years and again during the adolescent years. Most adolescent cases are vaccine preventable using the current tetravalent meningococcal vaccines. In February 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended routine immunization with the tetravalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine of all 11–12-year-olds, with the interim recommendation including all 14–15-year-olds, and special targeted populations to include incoming college freshmen living in dormitories, military recruits, certain travelers, microbiologists working with Neisseria meningitidis, and those with terminal complement component deficiencies and asplenia.