Each spring, the Moniteau County Health Department provides needed vaccines for incoming area eighth-graders and high school seniors.
The meningococcal vaccine protects against the bacteria that causes infections in the lining of the brain and spinal cord.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors most commonly diagnose infants, teens and young adults with the disease.
Andrea Kincaid, administrator at Moniteau County Health Department, said the in-school service is not given by all health departments.
"We know that vaccines prevent a lot of vaccine-preventable diseases," Kincaid said. "We definitely promote them. We think it helps the busy parents — it's a convenience they don't have to take them out of school."
The CDC recommends youth receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12 then another dose at age 16.
"We go out, and we do the eighth-grade and senior vaccinations," Kincaid said. "We're able to get them vaccinated, and they're able to start their next school year."
Eighth-graders also receive the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
CDC says tetanus and diphtheria are rare in the United States. Tetanus, or lockjaw, causes tightening of muscles in the head and neck. Pertussis, or whooping cough, causes severe coughing often followed by challenges breathing and vomiting.
"If a parent is interested in getting a child vaccinated, give us a call," Kincaid said. "We offer vaccinations here in our office Monday through Friday, but it's even more convenient to go to the school."
Health Department staff will be at California schools, April 17. They will visit Tipton and Jamestown on, April 18.
Children 18 and under without insurance could still receive vaccinations.
"We participate in the Vaccines for Children Program," Kincaid said. "Any child on Missouri Health Net uninsured or under-insured can receive vaccinations for free."
For more information, contact the Moniteau County Health Department at 573-796-3412.