Award-winning actress and mother Tiffani Thiessen, best known for her role on the hit television series Saved by the Bell, is partnering with the National Meningitis Association (NMA) to launch a new public health initiative, It’s About Time: Help Stop the Clock on Meningitis, aimed at educating parents about the importance of potentially life-saving vaccination to help protect their pre-teens and teens against meningococcal meningitis.

Together, campaign partners are calling on parents to include the topic of immunization, including the importance of the MenACWY vaccination, in timely talks with their child, and to speak with their child’s healthcare professional to help protect their children’s futures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a first dose of the MenACWY vaccine at 11-12 years old and a second dose at 16 years old. Yet, nearly 1 in 10 U.S. pre-teens do not receive their first dose of the MenACWY vaccination and approximately 50% of U.S. teenagers do not receive the crucial second dose, potentially leaving them underprotected and vulnerable to meningococcal meningitis, a rare, and potentially deadly bacterial infection that can take the life of an otherwise healthy teen in as little as one day. Further, 40% of parents reported that their children missed vaccinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As parents, I believe we can all agree that the health, safety and well-being of our children is our number one priority,” said Thiessen. “And while we can’t protect our children from all of life’s growing pains, we can help to protect them from potentially deadly but vaccine-preventable diseases such as meningococcal meningitis that can target teens, which my daughter soon will be. This doesn’t have to be another worry for families, which is why I’m reminding parents to use special milestone conversations about the important things in life to also talk to their child and their child’s healthcare professional about recommended immunizations, including the MenACWY vaccine, as well as MenB and other important adolescent vaccines.”

As a parent to an 11-year-old daughter, Thiessen will lean into the power of those necessary, yet sometimes challenging, conversations through a series of thought-provoking videos with exciting special guests. The video series, which will be available on HelpStoptheClock.org starting this summer, is aimed at helping to educate parents about how they can help protect their pre-teens and teens against meningococcal disease. Parents also have a chance to have their own virtual conversation with Thiessen by visiting the website and signing up for a reminder to schedule their child’s MenACWY vaccine appointment.

“I know better than most the feeling of wanting to stop the clock and go back in time when it comes to relishing those special moments we share with our children,” said Leslie Maier, president of the NMA. “Sadly, I was robbed of having more time with my son because he died within 24 hours of contracting meningococcal meningitis. At the time, we didn’t know it was potentially vaccine-preventable, which is why it’s my mission to get as many kids vaccinated as possible. We are honored Tiffani has chosen to join forces with us and look forward to using our voices as moms to help stop the clock on meningitis.”

To learn more about the campaign, a collaboration with Sanofi, visit HelpStoptheClock.org, and talk to your child’s healthcare professional today about MenACWY vaccination, as well as MenB and other important adolescent vaccines.

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