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Friday, April 22, 2011

Menigitis Madness

About a month ago, my transplant team informed me there are a few vaccinations I need prior to transplant. Well, if you know me, you know my stance on vaccinations in this country but I would do and will do ANYTHING for a kidney. So I went and got a flu, pneumonia and meningitis vaccine. Not all 3 together of course. Yesterday, my transplant team called and said I needed one more dose of the meningitis vaccine for two reasons. 1.) My blood work showed I do not have enough immunity of it built up in my system and 2.) The CDC just came out with new guidelines saying anyone with a compromised immune system (as I will be post transplant) needs a second dose. And I quote from the CDC website, "Meningococcal vaccine should be administered to persons with the following indications:
Medical: A 2-dose series of meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for adults with anatomic or functional asplenia, or persistent complement component deficiencies. Adults with HIV infection who are vaccinated should also receive a routine 2-dose series. The 2 doses should be administered at 0 and 2 months."
I clearly need and trust my transplant team to get this second dose. My doctor’s office does not administer this vaccine. So, I had to go to the dreaded and I do mean dreaded health department where you wait half of your life just to be seen, to get the first shot. And getting that first shot was a fiasco in itself because that shot is not typically given to anyone over the age of 18....which I am. Anyway, I call to get a second appointment and the nurse had to call the doctor who is the director over the Arkansas State Dept of Health and he/she denied my request to get another shot. Is it just me or is this ridiculous? How hard is it to know the CDC regulations...and shouldn't the Health Dept of ALL places know what the CDC recommends? I find it appalling that the medical field makes getting anything accomplished an ordeal. I don't know if this is a country wide problem or if Arkansas is just behind or if my particular corner of the world is so behind, but seriously. Top doctors on my transplant team and the CDC both recommend I get this shot prior to transplant, but some doctor in Arkansas has the power to veto it just like that. Hey, Arkansas Doctor Director Person, try googling CDC and search meningitis vaccine......you might learn something. And thanks for making it so difficult for me to get a vaccine that could potentially save my life.Job well done buddy!

1 comment:

  1. Jill - Jack has recently received a third meningococcal vaccine in preparation for a kidney transplant with Solaris. Do whatever it takes to get a second one! - Dana