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CDC seeks input on meningitis vaccine for infants

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By HOLLY RAMER
Associated Press

CONCORD, NH (AP) -- Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are hearing from parents, health care providers and others in New Hampshire as it starts exploring whether infants should be vaccinated against meningitis, a rare but potentially deadly infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The vaccine is recommended for adolescents and has FDA approval for those as young as nine months. Doctors can order it now, but insurance companies generally won't cover it unless the CDC adds it to the list of recommended immunizations for babies.

In a public session held Wednesday in Concord, CDC officials said there are about 250 cases of meningitis each year among US children under age 5, and adding the vaccine to the recommended list could prevent about 75.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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