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New York to require meningitis vaccine for 7th, 12th graders

As of Thursday all students entering the 7th or 12th grades in New York state will be required to be vaccinated against meningitis (MGN Online photo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- As of Thursday all students entering the 7th or 12th grades in New York state will be required to be vaccinated against meningitis.

Twenty seven states already require the vaccine as part of standard immunizations.

Meningitis refers to acute and often life-threatening inflammation of the membranes covering the brain.

More than 1,000 people contract the disease each year in the U.S., with between 10 and 15 percent of them dying from the disease. Survivors can suffer hearing loss or limb amputation.

Many public health advocates supported the push for the mandate, which lawmakers passed in 2015.

The vaccines now required for 7th and 12th graders protect against five strains that cause about 93 percent of meningitis cases.

AP-WF-08-31-16 1904GMT

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